I lived on water for six days, says Anisulowo
• Ex-minister relives ordeal in kidnappers’ den
• Amosun says no ransom was paid
• Prime suspect arrested at Lagos airport on way to Dubai
For the six days that former Minister of State for Education, Iyabo Anisulowo, was in a kidnappers’ den, she lived on water. The former minister who was on Tuesday night rescued spoke at the Isale-Igbehin, Government House, Abeokuta where she was brought by the State Commissioner of Police Abdulmajid Ali, to meet Governor Ibikunle Amosun, at 10: 09 p.m.
The governor who was in company with his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa and other top government functionaries to receive her was full of praises to God that Anisulowo was rescued unhurt.
Anisulowo, a former senator dressed in a peach lace material also could not hide her joy, when she sighted Amosun, as she hugged him and said “thank you, my governor.”
When asked to narrate her ordeal, Anisulowo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state said she was short of words.
She explained that the courage and the fighting spirit of Amosun in pursuing issues was the only assurance she had that she would come out unhurt from her abductors’ den.
She said: “I’m short of words, but I want to thank the governor and also thank God. I want to thank His Excellency, for all the efforts you put in with the security agents.
“I know the courage you have and the spirit to fight to the end and that was what kept me in the bush there. I have an assurance that with the security agents that you have, you will work it through. I thank God.”
Amosun appreciated the personal intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, on the incident.
He also thanked all security agencies in the state for their effort in ensuring Anisulowo’s release and expressed confidence that with modern day equipment, the police, army and the Directorate of State Services (DSS) would ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians.
He described the rescue of the victim as a huge success and that the feat would bring down the act of kidnapping in the country.
The governor said though the kidnappers demanded N200 million as ransom, no kobo was paid to secure Anisulowo’s release.
His words: “I have always argued that our security agencies can work, unless they don’t want to. We need to give kudos to God and thank our security people. This indeed is a different experience for me, I see the extent to which our security agencies can go.
“I don’t want to sound immodest, but I want to thank Mr. President and the IG, the Army and the SSS. They created a war room and everybody was communicating everyday. Like I said, I don’t want to sound immodest, but truly, the way they have resolved this is amazing.
“I want to place on record that the IG personally got involved, the AIG, the Commissioners of Police of Ogun, Oyo, Lagos and Kwara, and of course, all the Commandants of the Nigeria Army in each of those states. All of them got involved. Indeed, the State Security Service in all of the states that we mentioned were all involved. At all times, they were being briefed.
“We spoke with her and with them (kidnappers). They were moving from one place to another and they did that wonderfully well. Believe me, it was a pleasant surprise that technologically our people can do what they did.
“If they give them (security agents) necessary equipment, they will work wonders. It is a huge victory. I think the issue of kidnapping will go down a bit, with what they (security agencies) have achieved.
“I think it is a bit shameful that we find ourselves in a situation where we should not be. Young people that are supposed to be working, demanding ransom of N200 million. They even said because I got involved they increased it from N100 million to N200 million. They insisted from the second day that their ransom was N200 million. They said they had wanted to collect N100 million and I told them that they would face the law, and that it was in their interest to release her.
“They even threatened me and every other person. They said they would teach me, the IG, the brigade commander and others a lesson. They were abusing everybody on phone, but we thank God the way it is resolved. All glory to God.
“I can say it authoritatively that no kobo was paid to them. Of course, we did all that we were supposed to do. They reduced the ransom to N150 million, we asked them to come and take, but they did not come. We didn’t pay a kobo to anybody. We thank God that she is here live and direct.”
The state CP also appreciated all other top security agents in the state for the synergy that existed among them while the rescue operation lasted. He confirmed that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the crime and promised that they would be properly investigated and charged to court accordingly.
The CP told the governor that the kingpin was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, while attempting to flee to Dubai.
Ali said: “I want to thank the brigade commander, the state Director of the Security Service as well as the the IG for all the support. We have moved virtually all our technical equipment from Abuja to Ogun State.
“We traverse over three states and we continued to look for them, luckily, they gave up. The pressure was much on them. The helicopter patrol was another different thing entirely. We are grateful to the people of the state because they have confidence in the security agencies.
“I want to tell you that for the first time, the synergy that we set up here was so marvelous that we shall continue to relate with ourselves on daily basis. We are grateful that Mama is back to us alive.
“We have the assurance that nobody will come to Ogun State and try anything with us. We have made some arrests.”