Harrowing experience of a woman who gave birth in kidnapper’s den

In Enugu, a pregnant woman ambushed by kidnappers gave birth in their den as CHUKS NWEZE reports.

Monday, April 22, 2024 would remain indellible in the minds of Mr and Mrs Ekene and Chinwendu Igwe of Umugwu Street, Awkunanaw, Enugu.

To them, that fateful day broke without any sign of a foreboding danger.

Little did they know that Mrs Igwe who was hale and hearty in the morning when her husband, Ekene, left for work would be kidnapped that day.

Mrs Igwe, while narrating her ordeal in the hands of the daredevils said she was  going about her business that day until about 3.30 pm when her birth pains began.  As her husband was not around, she prepared to go to her home town, Egede in Udi LGA to give birth. She then prepared her other two children and around 4pm, they set out for the journey.

They first boarded a vehicle at Gariki Park and alighted at  9th Mile Corner, Ngwo. From 9th Mile, they boarded a motorcycle popularly known as Okada to Egede. It was on the way to Egede after they had passed Eke town that kidnappers came out from the bush and ambushed them.

Chinwendu who is thanking God for telling her story expressed gratitude to the governor of Enugu state, Barr Peter Mbah and the state Commissioner of Police, Anayo Uzuegbu who came to their rescue. 

“As soon as we passed the boundary between Eke and Egede, we passed a man who flashed his torch on us.  We were wondering why he flashed his torch when all of a sudden, three other boys jumped out from the bush and attacked our bike. We all fell. They pounced on the Okada man and started beating him mercilessly.  

“They took me and the Okada man a little far into the bush. They took only two of us and abandoned my children on their own. Later, they asked him to take my children away and took me further into the bush. My husband later called, but they refused to pick it.  Shortly after, my birth pains began and I told them to let me go, but they refused and threatened to kill me if I did not keep quiet. Afterwards, the baby came. I begged them to use their knife to cut the umblical cord which they obliged.

“Again, my husband called and they picked the call demanding N10 million or they would kill me. He told them he doesn’t have that kind of money and pleaded with them to collect N200,000 but they refused.  

“The following day, Tuesday, my husband called and they reduced the ransom to N3 million. All these while, I and my baby did not eat anything.  It was later two of them came with a loaf of bread and pure water which they asked me to eat but I declined initially, but since there was nothing I could do, and I accepted it. From the pure water, I gave drink to my baby who I covered in a wrapper given to me by one of the kidnappers. 

“This was how we started the whole day on Tuesday.  Sometimes two of them will go out and the other two will be guiding us until they return. All the while they ate nothing but bread and pure water.

“Wednesday, the day I was rescued, I began to cry and beg them to accept N1.5million my husband was able to raise because he did not have money.  It was then they said they will call their oga. When they called their oga, he told them to accept the ransom but warned that police should not be involved.  They told my husband that if he involves the police, they would kill my baby before before they kill me too.  

“Later on that day, two of them left and eventually returned with my husband and the ransom. When they collected the money, they went further into the bush. Thereafter, policemen came out and asked us the direction they took which we showed them. They pursued them and we left to my place where I and my baby took our bath for the first time in three days,” she narrated.

She said the CP drove to their place and took them to the Parklane Hospital, Enugu, saying Governor Mbah was aware of the incident and ordered that they be taken to the hospital for proper medical care.

Mrs Igwe said after the kidnappers released the Okada man and asked him to take the two children to his house, he took them to a security post at Eke from where her people and her husband collected them.

“I am grateful to Gov Mbah who took us to the hospital and paid the hospital bill. I also remain grateful the Commissioner of Police for his internvene in coming to our rescue. I heard that the police arrested two of the kidnappers.

May God bless them and my husband, Ekene who had to sell some of his property to save me from the kidnappers. I thank friends and well-wishers that have been coming to see us in the hospital and at home since we return,” she said.

Asked if she suspected the Okada man to be an accomplice, she replied in the negative saying if he was part of them, he wouldn’t have been beaten that way.