Suspected Kidnappers Posed As Soldiers Before Attacking Me – Islamic Cleric Reveals - 9jaflaver

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Suspected Kidnappers Posed As Soldiers Before Attacking Me – Islamic Cleric Reveals

Suspected Kidnappers Posed As Soldiers Before Attacking Me – Islamic Cleric Reveals

Ali Abdussalam, a cleric and Director, Ali Institute for Qur’an Memorisation, Ibadan, Oyo State, has talked abut his experience with kidnappers.

He tells FATTEH HAMID how he escaped an attempted kidnapping on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Monday, April 17, 2022

You narrowly escaped being kidnapped on Monday. Can you recount the experience?

I was travelling to Lagos from Ibadan and I left immediately after I observed the Subh (early morning) prayer. It was around the overhead bridge situated after the Onigari end of the highway. Let us say about five to six kilometres after Onigari. On the highway, what I observed was that a Sienna vehicle turned suddenly on the expressway and faced me; I was shocked and had to slow down but he (the driver) didn’t give me any signal that there was something ahead. I also saw a trailer as well which I tried to overtake. Suddenly, I saw two grown-up men in military uniforms pushing some people into the bush but I didn’t really take cognisance. However, on the highway itself, I saw another one looking directly at me, he was ahead of me on the expressway and was staring at me. I thought he was a military man who was on a mission trying to rescue people, so I was waving at him that he should leave the road but he stood there, looking at me. It was at that point that I observed that the man was dressed as a military man but the uniform was oversized. I thought immediately that a military man would not wear an oversized uniform. I looked at the trousers too and they were big trousers and then he had no military boots. It was then that I looked at him and told myself, “This man’s appearance looks fishy,” then I saw him bending his knee forward, holding his gun, closing an eye, and trying to aim at me. I realised at that moment that there was a fire on the mountain. Immediately I saw that I started saying my supplications, and rested my head on the steering wheel while I was still driving. Then I heard a gunshot. He shot at me and Alhamdulillah, it didn’t hit me but it pierced the windscreen and that was the only thing I just saw.

Did you see what he did next?

Because I didn’t stop driving and was still facing him, he jumped out off the road immediately. I looked at him through the side mirror while he was also looking at me. He was looking at me as if something had happened and maybe the bullet hit me but I kept going. That was the experience I had.

Did you see any security checkpoints on the highway?

The Amotekun corps were actually on the road, I saw them at about six or seven points but immediately after that overhead bridge, I think that is the boundary between Oyo State and Ogun State, the policemen that ought to be at those points were not there. On my way back from Lagos, I saw policemen at their stations too but they weren’t there at that particular time the incident happened which was in the early hours of the morning.

How did you feel when you were attacked?

I was frightened because I’d never had such an experience. I was frightened especially when he pointed the gun at me, bent his knee forward, and closed one of his eyes to aim at me but I was still driving at that time and wasn’t panicking nor did I attempt to come down from the car, or to stop. I was just frightened because it was something I have never seen before.

You earlier said you saw some people being led to the bush, can you describe the persons you saw?

I only saw those who were pushing them in military uniform because they turned their backs on the expressway, so I didn’t see those that were being pushed, I only saw the two men in military uniform trying to push people into the bush. You know I was in motion so I didn’t have the time to see all of that.

After the incident, did you contact the police?

Well, I had to stop by the Amotekun corps on my way back and report the case to them. Also, one of my mentors who I called helped me to contact the Oyo State Commissioner of Police immediately to report the incident.

Did you sustain any injury?

No, I did not. The only thing is that the bullet hit the windscreen and the glass broke. So there were some particles of glass inside the vehicle and that was all. I wasn’t injured at all. I went to the hospital to check for any internal injuries and it was confirmed to me that I was fine and yes, I’m fine. It’s only the shock from the incident that remains.

Was anyone with you in the vehicle when the incident happened?

No, there was no one with me, I was the only one.

Why didn’t you make a U-turn when you saw the kidnappers but chose to continue to move towards him?

Yes, I could not turn back actually because I already faced him and I see no logic in me turning back. As I was moving toward him, it was not even easy for me to start turning back. I saw it as more dangerous for me to start turning. In fact, after the incident, I continued with my journey as Allah actually protected me and saved me from the incident and I believe he will continue to safeguard me.

How did your family and friends feel when they learnt about the incident?

Everyone was shocked! They were shocked because just about a year ago, we lost one of my friends to a similar incident. It was a gunshot; the bullet went through the windscreen of his car, hit his head and we lost him. So, when people heard this, they were shocked. May Allah not let us lose our loved ones again in a similar way.

What other part of your vehicle was damaged by the bullet?

Only the windscreen was affected but Alhamdulillah that Allah saved me. There is a spring under the wiper, so, when the bullet pierced through the wiper, it was that spring that Allah used to redirect and divert the bullet into the dashboard instead of hitting me. It was the spring that the bullet hit and because it is a spring, it couldn’t go straight, it was diverted to the dashboard. That was it.

It’s been days since the incident occurred, do you still get flashbacks from the scene?

Yes, I do.

Since the incident was reported, have you received any response from the police about any arrest of the perpetrators?

On the night of the incident, I saw the news online. It was reported that two officers of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps in Ogun State were kidnapped and it was at that same spot that the incident happened. So, I suspected they were the ones I saw that were being pushed to the bush. It was in the same spot and at the same time. I saw the news that night

Following your experience, how will you describe the security level on the highway?

My advice is that the three states involved, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos states, should come together and do their job. It’s not the job of just a state. In fact, I will advise that they make it a 24-hour job. Then they need to comb all the bushes and forests that we have on that highway. If you observe very well, that point is where we have the thickest bushes and forests. Those points, I think, should be flashpoints.

Sounds:- Punch Ng

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