A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, says he slept on bare floor for the four days that he was held in kidnappers’ den.
Falae, who was released on Thursday after being kidnapped allegedly by some Fulani herdsmen on Monday, on his farm in Ilado village, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, described his experience as “hell.”
In his discussion with the state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who paid him a visit at his Oba Ile residence, Falae said his abductors were unreasonable in their demand.
He said, “When I told the kidnappers that my family could raise N2m for ransom against the N100m they demanded, they rejected it and told me, ‘Is it Boko Haram you are giving N2m to?’”
After being released, the septuagenarian said he trekked several kilometers from his farm to a hotel in Owo town, where he met security agents that took him home.
It was like a biblical triumphant entry for the elder statesman as he was cheered by scores of his friends, family and people of Ilu Abo town, where he is a traditional ruler.
All efforts to speak personally with Falae were prevented by his hostile children.
Looking weary and frail, the former Minister of Finance arrived at his home at about 4.45pm in company with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Mrs. Kalafite Adeyemi, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Ogbodu, and other police officers from the state command and the Force headquarters, Abuja .
Arase, who reportedly came to the state on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari to secure Falae’s release, said he was happy that the septuagenarian was rescued “hale and hearty.”
On how Falae was rescued, the IG said, “I cannot tell you, it is not for you. It is purely a security matter, but I am happy he is rescued alive.
“The most important thing is that baba has come home safely, that is the mandate the President has given to me and that is exactly what I have done.
“On the arrest made in connection with the crime and the amount paid as ransom, the police boss said, “I will let you know about arrest later, but no ransom was paid.”
Expressing his delight over the release of Falae, the state Governor Mimiko, said there was a need to tackle the issue of security in a wider dimension.
“We thank God he is back, but one is also worried that the issue of kidnapping is taking another dimension. That somebody of Falae’s pedigree was taken away while working on his farm, is a very serious security challenge and I think we must tackle it in a wider dimension.” Mimiko said.
Meanwhile, our correspondents gathered that the IG, Arase, who arrived in Ondo State at about 6am on Thursday, met with operatives from the Ondo State Police Command, and mobilised them to the Owo area of the state where Falae was rescued.
A police source, who was on the rescue team, told PUNCH Metro that Falae was rescued at about 2.30pm.
He said, “We came into Ondo at about 6am with the IG. We then went to Owo town. The IG came with five units of mobile policemen and over 400 policemen from the Ondo State command. There was also the Special Intelligence Response team. The chief was rescued at bout 2.30pm.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, also said the family did not pay any ransom to the kidnappers.
She added that no member of the kidnapping gang had been arrested yet.
She said, “The chief has been reunited with his family members. The IG went to the Ondo State command on Thursday to coordinate the release of the chief. He was rescued in Owo town.
“There was no ransom paid before he was released. He was rescued from the gang. As of now, the police are working on arresting the suspects, and they will be brought to book. We do not have any suspect presently.”