PORT HARCOURT — ARCHBISHOP of Niger Delta Province of Nigerian Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, yesterday, accused the Nigeria Police of lying over their claim that they secured his release from the kidnappers who abducted him penultimate Friday.
Briefing newsmen in Eleme, Rivers State, to share his nine days experience in the den of the kidnappers four days after regaining freedom, Most Rev. Kattey thanked the Police for their efforts, but said that they were not the ones who rescued him.
He said: “The Police did not rescue me, neither were they the ones who rescued my wife, Beatrice. I saw the Police for the first time two days ago, after the incident. I heard the statements made by the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO. The police are telling lies. If you cannot trust the Police, then who can you trust? I told the Commissioner of Police and he has apologised.
“I know that they made efforts but they did not rescue us. A helicopter flew over the area more than 500 times, but the boys (kidnappers) were smarter. They held me in a thick forest and no one could see me there.
“On the day of my release (September 14), the kidnappers moved me and we trekked a number of kilometres till we got to a road. Then they gave me N200 and ordered me to walk towards a direction where I would get a bike. We thank God for His mercies because I wouldn’t even wish my enemy to go through that experience.”
Kattey, who is Dean of the Nigerian Anglican Communion, also said that he was not aware if any ransom was collected over his release, explaining that he was not tortured by his abductors, whom he said he had forgiven.
“I was not tortured. They fed me on fast food once a day, sometimes on bole (roast plantain). They tied and chained my legs, but one of them said ‘you can’t chain this man’. I slept on the ground, beaten by rain and bitten by mosquitoes like them for up to seven days. As an old man of 65 years, I had no choice than to stay and swim in the forest with them.”
The Archbishop, while expressing his gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the Police as well as Christians and Muslims for their concern and prayers, however, appealed to the federal and state governments to review the security situation in the country and be sensitive to the plight of the governed.
He said: “From my experience, the abductors are hungry and in dire need of means of livelihood. Some are adequately educated but lack the enabling environment to positively express themselves. If government will give the people potable water, light and good roads, they will change.”