Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Maranatha Innocent, who was kidnapped by ritualists then released, recounts her experience in the ritualists' camp of death

Maranatha Innocent who went missing for three days in Makurdi, Benue state (read here) has narrated her experience in the hands of her kidnappers.

Maranatha, who was kidnapped by suspected ritualists on March 8th but was found on March 11th, has now opened up about what happened on that fateful day and it's really troubling. Apparently she was kidnapped for ritual purposes and only escaped in what can only be termed a miracle. Maranatha, who lives in Makurdi, was returning from her cake school and decided to take a bike home. She negotiated with the bike rider and their journey began but along the line he said he wanted to ease himself.

While he handled his business, Maranatha, suspecting nothing, waited with her back turned to him while operating her phone. Soon a car stopped in front to her to ask her for directions. Three men got out of the car and as she directing them on how to get to their destination was all she remembered. She woke up moments later in a room, bound and gagged. There were three other girls in the room in similar condition. She revealed that from Wednesday to Saturday that they were there, they were not fed.

On Saturday, a man came in dressed in a white agbada and a turban tired around his head. He was bare feet and held a walking stick. He walked to the girl at the end of the room and raised placed the staff over her head. When nothing happened he slapped her, then raised the stick again and it made a sound that was similar to the noise made when two metalts are welded together. He continued in this same way with the other girls and in both instances, there was that sound.

When he got to Maranatha and placed the staff over her head, there was no sound. He slapped her and tried again, still no sound. He then ordered for her to be taken away.

Read the rest of her narrative below.

"The 8th of March 2017 will forever remain a day to remember. So I went to the bank to withdraw some money since my mum needed it that evening and I wouldn't be back home until 5pm. Of course banks will be closed by then so I had to withdraw that morning. Like every other day, I left for school after I finished from the bank (cake school).

Funny enough I closed early that day. Left the bakery, couldn't get a bike, had to walk down the road before I saw an okada. Good afternoon, good afternoon. Behind midway inn (from makurdi club) how much??100 naira. Okay. And off we went. For those of us who are familiar with makurdi, after tito gate, savannah round about, katsina ala street and then still on katsina ala street, by the sharp bend heading to bank road, there`s Word Aflame and then where they dump refuse.

Na im this oga stop say im won piss. Well of course I have taken bikes before and they have stopped to "piss" and there after, our journey continues. So when this oga stopped, I didn't suspect anything fishy. I backed him while he was doing his business and I stood there "pressing phone". Next thing, a vehicle pulled over in front of me, three guys came down. One from the driver`s seat, and two from the passengers side. Those from the passengers side walked up to me while the other came down and leaned by the door.

After we exchanged pleasantries, they asked for directions to"Tionsha". I turned to describe the place, and thats all I can remember.

Ghen! Ghen!! It was like I was sleeping and woke up in a certain room. My hands tied behind me, legs tied in front, my mouth was also tied. Three other ladies were there who were also tieds,, we all sat on the floor. The room was painted yellow, it had two doors. One for the toilet and the other led outside. There was a table and a chair, a wall clock, a ceiling fan and it was all ruged.

I have never been soo scared in my life. You know the feeling of crying over and over again. Confessing your sins over and over and making several promises to God if only He will deliver me and help me leave there alive. The guys came in to keep watch over us wearing masks, there would sit and stare at us while we cry in our hearts since we couldn't cry out.

Well, that was on a Wednesday. We were there till Saturday without food or water. The only Communication we had was if we wanted to go to toilet. You either nod or shake your head.

So on Saturday, at about past 4pm, a man walked in with something like a walking stick in a white agbada, bare feet and a turban tied around his head. I sat on the floor by the door, he walked pass me and went to the lady at the end of the room. He placed the staff over her head. Nothing happened and then he gave her a dirty slap. He then placed it again and it made a sound of a welding machine. (When two metals are been weld together)My heart was pounding inside my chest, sweating like I have never sweated before.

The uncle placed it on the head of both the second and third ladies, and it made the same sound effortlessly. And then it was my turn. Still sweating and shaking like a leaf. He then placed it over my head, lo and behold, no sound. And then he gave me the most dirty slap I have ever received. He adjusted it and placed it over my head again. Still no sound. And that was how he ordered that I should be taken out. They quickly blind folded me, raised me and it was like I fell asleep again. And when I woke up, it was night already. I was bare feet. Everything was gone. Looking homeless, scattered, shattered and battered. Extremely weak.

So, I found myself in front of Loekka International Academy, staggered to the road, sat on the walk ways trying to gather the remaining strength I had. Stopped several bikes but since I looked homeless, they just drove off immediately. I was able to stop one who kept looking at me while I tried to mutter my house address. Well, I got home safe, though extremely traumatized. After the horror movie that kept playing in front me.

This is my story.

Lessons I Learnt From My Kidnap

1.) Know God for Yourself
I am glad I know . It is the best decision I have ever made. Not just to know God but know him personally. Who ever wrote those lines (...recieve Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour...) wrote them by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit because, personally, He's my Lord and He has saved me. I believe the prayers offered to God and my desire s too were granted because I am related to God. (Where relationships are established, things are achieved easily).
Just like Hezekiah, I didn't just turn my face against the wall, I was already with the wall and presented my strong reasons. I put him into remembrance and praise God, He did it. When you serve God, He will service you. Service to God pays.
If you haven't met him or know him on a personal level, my dear its not too late. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.

2.) There's Nothing Like Family
There were times while growing up that I wished I grew up in another house and was born in to another family. But trust me, the grass ain't always greener at the other side. I'm glad those wishes didn't came to pass.
Aside my parents and siblings, there are friends who have stood the test of time and proven themselves as family because, trust me, family ain't always about blood. There are friends who are like the roots of a tree in your life. They don't always show themselves but they are there to hold you up. I'm glad and grateful to God that I have such people in my life.

3.) Don't Be Tragedy Driven
So I heard of a man who felt really uneasy within himself and decided to go and see a doctor. His blood samples were taken for tests but the doctor advised he stay back till the results were out. Unfortunately, he died the next day. His brother on the day of his burial was lamenting how he hadn't seen his late brother in a long while but since he didn't hear of anything wrong with him, he didn't see the necessity to visit him and kept procasting checking on him until he died.
What I'm trying to say is this. Lets not be tragedy driven. We can't say how long we will be alive. Let's not complicate life. If you miss someone, call them. If you love someone, tell them. If you're confused or heard something about someone, communicate. Don't wait until something goes wrong with them. There are people who I haven't seen nor heard from since 2008, and because of my kidnap, they called, some even came over to my house and I'm like, what if, just what if I died?? I wouldn't know they cared that much. Others calling to let me know just how much they love me. If not for God's intervention in my life, I wouldn't know, and they wouldn't have had the opportunity to say all that.
Lets not be tragedy driven. Yes, we all pray for long life but if God calls you home the next minute I hope your loved ones would know just how much you loved them . Lets not wait until something goes wrong before we show and say just how much we love and care for eachother".

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