The recently released monarch, Oba Sunday Joel Daodu, told Babatope Okeowo his experience in the hands of kidnappers. But his colleagues blame the upsurge in the abduction of monarchs on the reliance on Christianity and Islam contrary to the traditions of various towns.
The Oniyani of Iyani, in Akoko Northwest Local Government area of Ondo State, Oba Sunday Joel Daodu, yesterday relieved his experience in the hands of his abductors which included drinking water meant for cows, sleeping on bare floor and trekking for four days in the bush. The kidnappers took him away for four days before finally releasing on Wednesday.
The monarch who was abducted alongside his second in command, High Chief Samuel Olugbenga Giwa, described his experience as harrowing. “We drank water from the pond where cattle drink water.
We slept on rocks and were made to trek long distance during our captivity,” he said. This development came as monarchs in the state said too much of religious beliefs had taken away traditional powers of Obas, making them vulnerable to attacks like kidnapping.
Oba Daodu was kidnapped by some unknown gunmen last weekend on Owo-Ikare Expressway and was released at Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area of the state after four days in captivity.
The monarch who was kidnapped alongside a High Chief in the town said spending the Easter period in the den of kidnappers is not an experience he would pray for even for his enemies.
Oba Daodu disclosed that the incident happened at exactly 4:30 pm on Sunday, saying he left his hometown about 4.pm on his way to Akure when they suddenly ran into the abductors at a spot in Oba Akoko.
According to him, the abductors, whom he first thought were armed robbers, were shooting at close range and he was forced to stop. But one of the young men shot the tyre of his car and dragged him and a chief who was at the wheels into the bush.
The monarch disclosed that the men who looked haggard marched them into the bush. Oba Daodu said they kept moving all through the four days of their captivity and said they sometimes sat on rocks whenever their abductors wanted to rest.
“We were in the bush climbing hills, sleeping on top of rocks. It was terrible. I don’t even want my enemy to experience what I passed through. I didn’t know there was Easter.
Their leader even asked me to pray for him so that he could quit the job,’’ he said. He said that he and the other abducted person interacted a lot with the kidnappers and they disclosed that they were forced into the job because of the bad economic situation in the country.
The chief who was abducted alongside the monarch, Samuel Olugbenga Giwa, the Shaba of Iyani, while thanking God for their lives, said he was the one driving the vehicle on the day.
He said the experience in the hands of the kidnappers was indeed a harrowing one. Chief Giwa, who is also the second in rank to the Oniyani, said he was accompanying the monarch to Akure on the day and was also the one driving in when they ran into the kidnappers all of a sudden.
According to him, the men wore masks all most of the time but later took them off after they became more acquainted with them Oba Daodu called on the Federal Government to provide adequate security for traditional rulers in the country by attaching security personnel to them for their safety.
Equally, the monarch called for the recruitment of more able bodied Nigerians into the police and also increase the number of the police checks points on the nation’s highways.
Similarly, the tradition ruler called on parents to instil good morals in their children by giving them religious education and also inculcating discipline in them.
The monarch thanked the people of Iyani, his home town, for their support and prayers during his days in captivity and the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and all the security outfits in the state, for responding promptly to the situation.
The monarchs at a meeting held at the palace of Owa Ale of Ikare Akoko, in Akoko North-East Local Government Area of the state, under the auspices of De-130 Krowns Club, condemned the kidnap of one of them, while commending the roles played by the state government in the release of the abducted monarch.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting of the traditional rulers, the Owa Ale of Ikareland, Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin and the Olu of Igbokoda in Ilaje, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, said there was a need for the government to ensure adequate security and welfare of Obas in the state.
Oba Adedoyin said: “It is very unfortunate that Obas had to be kidnapped by men of the underworld, it is even a taboo in Yorubaland for anybody, no matter highly placed, to lay his hands on an Oba not to talk of kidnapping him.”
Oba Adedoyin said too much of religious beliefs had taken away traditional powers of Obas hence tbeing vulnerable to attacks like kidnapping. Oba Odidiomo insisted that the selection, appointment and installation of Obas in Yorubaland should be taken away from the government and returned exclusively to traditionalists and kingmakers.
He said: “The reason for unnecessary attacks on Obas is due to modernisation; you will even see that the installation system has changed compared to the olden days.
It is unfortunate that Obas now call themselves evangelists, Reverend or Alhajis. Some Obas even go to night parties.” “This is against the tradition, and whoever perpetrated such act will soon see the wrath of God.”
While commending the security agencies for being proactive in the release of the kidnapped traditional ruler, Oba Adegbite-Adedoyin said the governor should see the kidnap incident as a challenge, saying: “Assault on any traditional ruler is an assault on the state government.”