Yesterday I reported the kidnap of a human right activist Sunny Ofehe, after Nolywood actress Anita Hogan took to facebook to disclose of the horrible act.
Sahara Reporters sought for an update on the kidnap saga and have some information published in this regard. They mentioned that the Nigerian hostages were released including comrade Sunny Ofehe, while, the foreigners are still being held.
BELOW IS THE FULL REPORT:
Suspected militants who abducted three Dutch nationals in Letugbene community in Bayelsa have freed the Nigerian hostages in their custody.
Our sources disclosed that the kidnappers are still holding the foreigners. Nigeria’s security sources were not even aware of the freedom of the Nigerians when SaharaReporters sought an update on the status of the foreign hostages on Tuesday.
A press statement from Sunny Ofehe, a Netherland-based Nigerian activist who facilitated the Dutch nationals’ ill-fated trip, confirmed the developments. He said the victims of the kidnap included Mr. Erhard Leffers, Mrs. Marianne Vos, Mr. Jan Andre Groenendijk, Mr. Femi Soewu, two journalists from the Warri chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), and some community leaders.
“The incident occurred while [we were] returning to Warri after a successful tour of the newly built Chevron-facilitated GMOU Hospital,” said Mr. Ofehe. He added: “The gunmen, numbering about 10, shot sporadically into the air, water and the speed boats carrying us, including Mr. Berry Negerese, chairman of the Dodo River Rural Development Association, operators of the NNPC/Chevron-sponsored GMOU, who also facilitated the visit. Our team was well received by the people of the communities led by their traditional rulers.”
Mr. Ofeghe disclosed that the armed gang surrounded the team shortly after the traditional ruler of the area bid farewell to the entourage. The kidnappers “rounded up our boats suddenly from nowhere and asked everyone to lie face down and screamed, ‘We want the white men.’” He stated that the victims were panic-stricken and terrified.
After members of the entourage lay face down, the abductors dragged away the Dutch nationals and also picked up every valuable in the boats.
“Just when we thought they had gone, another boat conveying a number of the armed men, while still firing into the air, ordered me and the other Nigerian, Femi from Holland, into the boat and they sped off chanting some war songs.
He disclosed that Femi and he were blindfolded, ordered into a different boat, and taken to an unknown location and left still blindfolded. Mr. Ofehe disclosed that he and Femi were put in a speedboat Monday morning and brought to another unknown community where they were abandoned.
“The armed men threatened us to leave the Niger Delta region if we want to remain alive. We were able to find our way through a path to the town and called for help. Some local people ferried us to the nearby jetty from where we were taken to a place where we got a boat to the upland,” said Mr. Ofehe. He appealed to the kidnappers to release the other members of his team.