By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
Chairman of Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Donatus Nwankpa says he was exposed to the elements and witnessed scary moments during the four days he spent in a deep forest in Rivers state by his abductors.
Nwankpa who was freed by his abductors four days after he was snatched while travelling from Umuahia to Aba on the eve of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign rally in Abia state, made the startling revelations while briefing newsmen on his ordeal at his home in Umuahia over the weekend.
The Abia APC boss, whose home was besieged by sympathisers, recalled the dramatic moments he ran into the hoodlums on his way to the commercial city of Aba that Monday night.
According to him, his vehicle was stopped about 30 metres from a police check point, adding that “the police were watching and did not intervene” while he and those travelling with him were being accosted by the hoodlums.
“I pleaded with them to release one of my aides with injury and they took me to a deep forest in Rivers state”, he said, adding that it took his abductors 48 hours to open up communication and accept “to positively engage my people”.
He did not disclose what transpired between his people and the kidnappers before he was released.
Hon. Nwankpa stated that the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) had discovered the location where he was kept but they were discouraged from taking any action that could jeopardise his life. “When you’re kidnapped you’re between life and death. I told them (security agents) that nobody should attack after the DSS located the place where he was kept”, he said noting that death could come from the kidnappers or during shootout with security agents.
He dismissed the story making the rounds that, on the day he was kidnapped, he had gone to the bank and withdrawn N50 million and was, therefore, trailed by the hoodlums while ferrying the huge sum to Aba.
The party chairman said that what happened to him was “a problem of insecurity” and should not be politicised as he had only N250,000 in his vehicle at the time he was abducted hence the issue of carrying huge amount of money political blackmail.
The state vice chairman of the party, Hon Chris Aja, said he was grateful to God for making it possible for Nwankpa to return home unhurt, adding that the news of his abduction had hit them hard during the preparations for the presidential campaign.