The four journalists and their driver who were kidnapped on Sunday, June 11, in Umuaforkwu in Obioma Ngwa local government area of Abia State were yesterday released by their captors.
Abdulwahab Oba, the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Lagos State; Sylva Okereke, the assistant secretary; Adolphus Okonkwo, a zonal secretary of the union; Shola Oyeyipo, a Lagos-based radio reporter and the driver, Azeez Yekini, regained freedom yesterday at about 1.30 am.
Mr. Oba, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, narrated their experience in captivity to journalists in Umuahia, Abia State. He said their captors drove them to the market square after giving them directions on how to get to the main road .
According to him, they waited for daylight before introducing themselves to the villagers who contacted the police.
Mr. Oba said though their captors did not manhandle them, they were initially chained together and frequently moved from one location in the jungle to another. He said they were fed only with bread once a day.
He also said their captors collected every item on them including laptops, wrist watches and about N3mllion.
According to him, their captors said they were not after journalists but were only using them to demonstrate their discontentment against bad governance in the state. The kidnappers were said to be dissatisfied with the lack of programmes for the youth, the poor state of roads as well as the amnesty programme for militants.
The kidnappers, Mr. Oba said, vowed to disrupt the 2011 elections in the state if they are not provided for as militants in the amnesty programme.