It was a joyful atmosphere on Tuesday when 15 farmers from Mgbuji Eha-Amufu Community in Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu State who had been kidnapped by gunmen on July 18, 2022, were released by their captors.
The spokesman of Mgbuji Community, Chijioke Ogbodo, confirmed their release to our correspondent by telephone on Tuesday.
While lamenting the constant attack of gunmen he believed to be Fulani militias on the community, Ogbodo said that their abductors demanded N30 million but what the families were able to contribute was N2 million.
“After so many pleas, because the security agencies abandoned us, they (the gunmen) accepted to collect what we have. So, last week, they were able to accept the two million naira and released them. We thank God that no one was harmed,” Ogbodo said.
It was reported that gunmen masquerading as herdsmen abducted 15 farmers near Mgbuji town while they were going to their farms.
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in police and military uniforms had on July 5 kidnapped seven residents of the same community and killed three others.
Mgbuji and neighbouring communities in Eha-Amufu have been constantly attacked by marauding herders since September 2021.
So many people had been killed, and several houses and properties worth millions of naira had been destroyed. So many others were equally kidnapped for ransom.
Meanwhile, efforts to get a reaction from the Enugu State Police Command were unsuccessful as the Command’s spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, didn’t pick up his calls.