How I Crawled in The Forest to Escape From Fulani Herdsmen Who Killed My Chaplain - Bishop Narrates Scary Ordeal
- After encountering the suspected herdsmen while on a journey, Ojo, his wife and driver managed to escape; however, the chaplain, Revd David Aiyeola, wasn’t as lucky
- The gunmen later contacted the bishop and demanded for a N100m ransom for the chaplain, which the church was unable to raise
- The gunmen eventually killed the chaplain after engaging in a shoot-out with policemen
Revd Samuel Ojo, Bishop of the African Church, Ondo Central Missionary Diocese, has narrated how he managed to escape from gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
In a conversation with Punch, Ojo further lamented over the killing of his chaplain, Revd David Ayeola, by the suspected herdsmen.
Onlinenigeria.com gathers that the deceased chaplain was travelling with the bishop and his wife on Thursday, October 19, when they encountered the gunmen.
The chaplain was eventually kidnapped, while Ojo managed to escaped by a whisker.
Narrating the horrific episode, Ojo stated: “On Thursday, we went to my hometown in Imojo Ekiti. Around 6pm, we left the village to return to Ayegbaju, venue of the burial.
“However, when we got to a place between Imojo and Oye Ekiti, some masked gunmen emerged from the bush, blocked the road and started shooting continuously.
“Our driver attempted to turn back, but he discovered that members of the gang were also coming from the back. He suddenly drove into the forest.
“Myself, my wife, the reverend, and the driver ran into the bush. I told them to run for their lives and we fled in different directions. I crawled in the forest for hours.”
The bishop, his wife and driver managed to arrive at another town at separate times, where they alerted the villagers and their relatives about their plight.
Ojo then disclosed that he received word later that the kidnappers had called the church’s headquarters in Akure, Ondo state, to demand a N100m ransom for the chaplain, whom they had captured.
He stated: “Afterwards, the kidnappers started calling me with the reverend’s phone number. From their accents, they sounded like Fulani.
“They were threatening to kill him if we didn’t pay the money. When I offered them N500,000, they insulted me and the church.
“Meanwhile, commissioners of police in Ekiti and Ondo states had deployed policemen in the three divisions surrounding the place to look for him.
“The hunters association in the town had also moved into the forest to search for him.
“On Saturday, I was called by the kidnappers and I told them that we were looking for the money.
“By 11pm, some indigenes who went to their farm, sighted three men with guns. They saw the priest with them.
“They informed the police and that was how the police and the hunters invaded the forest to rescue him.”
When the police arrived, they got engaged in a shoot-out with the kidnappers. However, they later disengaged from the action, in order not to endanger the life of the chaplain.
Ayeola was later killed by the gunmen.
According to Adeyemi Ademola, the public relations officer of the Ekiti state Police Command, the police had commenced investigations into the incident, but no suspect has been apprehended yet.
Ojo has since gone into hiding.
Meanwhile, Onlinenigeria.com previously reported that a clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state led to the killing of at least 37 indigenes and farmers.
The village was reportedly attacked by the herders in a renewed clash which followed the killing of a Fulani herdsman known across the village as a bandit.