HomeNewsKidnapped Furniture Maker Escapes Death in Nigeria

Kidnapped Furniture Maker Escapes Death in Nigeria

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 A young entrepreneur who was abducted by unknown gunmen in Lagos, Nigeria, has shared his harrowing ordeal on social media. Omoosumi Samuel, also known as Toby Woods, runs a furniture business called 360 Furniture. He went missing last Wednesday and was reported by his family in the Gbagada area of Lagos.

The Bus Ride 

Toby Woods said he was on his way to get materials for work at Mushin, a suburb of Lagos, when he decided to stop at Ikeja, another part of the city, to fix his phone. He boarded a bus at Oshodi, a notorious transport hub, where he noticed he became weak and lost consciousness.

He woke up in a dark room, tied up and blindfolded, with other people’s voices around him. Toby Woods said he was taken to another room where the kidnappers accessed his phone and then returned him to the first room. He realized that the kidnappers were taking people out one by one and not bringing them back.

“I was really scared at this point because I thought this was the end. They took me too and I felt the same weakness I felt in the bus,” he wrote on his X account.

A Miraculous Escape

Toby Woods said he regained consciousness in the middle of nowhere, with blood on his clothes and cuts on his body. Toby Woods explained that he was led by God to a house where he met an old woman who gave him water, slippers, and directions to the road.

He said he had no idea that he was gone for so long, as his face was covered throughout the abduction. He also did not know what time it was or where he was. Then, he stopped the first person he saw and learned that he was in Ogun State, a neighboring state to Lagos.

Toby Woods said a stranger helped him pay for his transport fare to Lagos and gave him some money. He also tried to call a number he could remember but it did not go through. He slept throughout the journey and arrived at Oshodi, where he felt safe and then took another bus to Ikorodu, where he lives with his elder brother. Toby Woods said he got home around midnight.

A Happy Reunion

Toby Woods’ disappearance had sparked a social media campaign by his friends and family, who appealed for information on his whereabouts. His brother, who had reported the case to the police, said he was overjoyed to see him alive.

One of his friends, who had also shared reports on X that Toby Woods was missing, confirmed that he had returned. “It is with great joy that I announce to you all that our brother and friend Oluwatobiloba Omoosumi Samuel – Tobywood has returned to us,” he posted.

Toby Woods thanked everyone who prayed and supported him during his ordeal. He said he was grateful to God for sparing his life and giving him a second chance. He also advised people to be careful and vigilant when traveling in public transport.

A Rising Trend of Kidnapping

Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative business for criminal gangs in Nigeria, especially in the northern and southern regions. According to a report by SB Morgen, a Lagos-based intelligence firm, kidnappers collected at least $18 million in ransom from June 2011 to March 2020.

The victims are often businessmen, politicians, celebrities, tourists, students, and ordinary citizens. The kidnappers usually demand huge sums of money, sometimes in foreign currency or bitcoin, and threaten to kill or harm the victims if their demands are not met.

The Nigerian government has vowed to tackle the menace of kidnapping and other forms of insecurity in the country. President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the security agencies to intensify their efforts to rescue the abducted and arrest the perpetrators. He has also called for more collaboration and cooperation among the federal, state, and local governments, as well as the traditional and religious leaders, to address the root causes of the problem.

Source: Punch

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