Imo Traditional Ruler Saved from Kidnappers: A harrowing account of survival

Rescued… Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri

A former chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri, has recounted his ordeal in kidnappers’ den.

Ohiri, the traditional ruler of the Obi-Orodo community in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area Imo State, was abducted from his residence in the Orodo community on January 6, 2024. He secured his freedom on January 17, 2024, after about two weeks with his captors.

Speaking with Channels Television at his palace in the Obi-Orodo community, he said the kidnappers were mostly educated youths, who said they ventured into crime because of the state of the economy, especially the lack of job opportunities.

“Wednesday, January 17 was the day I was released,” he said. “Initially, the interaction (with the kidnappers) was very hostile. As days went by and they got to know who I was, their character and treatment towards me improved.

“Some of these guys are highly educated. They had issues with everything, with society and every system. They were just angry.

“Things are very difficult in the country; people are also surviving without going into criminal acts otherwise everybody will be out there kidnapping.”

Quality Of Life

To the traditional ruler, the government at all levels should make conscious efforts to improve the quality of life of the masses.

He explained that if jobs are readily available within the population, young people will not consider indulging in criminal activities.

“I would like to advise in my position as a traditional ruler that the government should please take all necessary actions to make sure that they improve the quality of life and situations in the country.

“It is very difficult right now. If there are employment opportunities, I think it will go a long way to reduce criminalities. Because there are no jobs, people use it as an excuse to go into criminal acts,” he stated.

He also commended the leadership of his community, the town union as well as his wife for briefing security agencies of his abduction.

The elated traditional ruler also thanked the people of the community and those within the Mbaitoli Local Government Area for their prayers and show of love while in captivity.
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