“I couldn’t believe it. I was on my way to
church and I had just parked my car when six boys, very young boys,
just came to me and started ordering me to come with them.
told them to take it easy, that I would do what they say, and they
took me to their car, blindfolded me and drove away. I asked where we
were going, and they said Port Harcourt, then Benin, then Asaba.
Instead, when they took off the blindfold, we were in a forest. That
night, I slept on the ground.
“But they were very nice to me. They didn’t touch me. They didn’t take
any of my jewellery or wallet or anything else. We were just talking
like old friends. They assured me that nothing would happen to me.
“I even prayed with them. Then the next morning, they started to move
again. It was later that I discovered that it was because the whole
state had been covered by security operatives. They told me all the
roads, even the rivers and creeks were being watched by security.”
“They said it was somebody close to me who set everything up. Someone
that I have been helping. They said the person told them I would be in
that church by 8am that morning. I couldn’t believe it. But they asked
how they would know my movement to go and wait for me there. I didn’t
know what to say.”
Most kidnappings take at least a week to resolve, but one day was all it took in this case, and Obodo played his part.
“Five of them left to go and get the money, leaving me with one of
them. But he later said we had to leave this place because the area was
being monitored. He told me to promise him that I would not shout or
run away. I told him I’d been cooperating since they took me and since
they had promised to release me that day, I would do what he said.
“When we got to the town, he got a call informing him that two or three of them had been captured.
“I heard the other one telling him to take me back and tie me up in the forest.
“At that point, I told myself I wasn’t going back into that forest. So I
told him that it’s possible his people wanted to betray him, that they
may have taken the money and run. I asked him to let me call my people
to find out if the money had been picked up.
“He agreed, but said he did not have credit on his phone, so we would
have to walk back into the village to buy airtime. As we were walking
back to the village, we saw a group of people sitting around, so we
stopped to ask for a recharge card. They said they didn’t have it
“He now said we should move on to the next place. At that point, I
pushed him and started running and screaming that I am Chris Obodo and
that they should help. The people immediately gathered. Luckily, they
also had some vigilante people around, they call them Black Beret, and
they came and got me.
“The police were also nearby, because they had been tracking them
through the phonecalls. That was when I started crying and giving thanks
to God. That is how I got out.”
Despite the trauma, Obodo says he has no immediate plans to stop
returning home to Warri: “It won’t stop me from going to Warri. That is
where I have lived all my life. I’m a Warri boy and it’s not like I go
out anyhow. Whenever I come home, I play football, three-a-side, in my
compound with my friends, I don’t go out clubbing like I used to when I
was much younger, so why should I stop coming?”
He did, however, admit that the experience will leave scars.
“When something like this happens, you learn a lot. It opened my eyes to a lot of things.”
Obodo said he is grateful for the groundswell of support. “I just want
to thank everybody. My family got a lot of calls, a lot of support, and
we just want to thank everyone.”
The Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has ordered 24-hours
security for Obodo throughout the duration of his vacation in the state.
Culled from KickOffNigeria.com