Mrs Victoria Galadima, widow of the Agom Adara, Dr Maiwada Raphael Galadima, the late monarch of Adara chiefdom in Kaduna State, who was murdered in the heat of the recent crisis in the state, has told the heart-rending story of the torture she went through while in the custody of the kidnappers.
According to her, at a time she begged the kidnappers to kill her. She was abducted with the late monarch and their driver, on October 19 by gunmen along the Kaduna-Kachia road while on their way to the palace in Kachia. Two of his bodyguards were killed during the abduction.
But after few days the kidnappers released Galadima’s wife and the driver, but killed the monarch and dumped his body at Katari village along Kaduna-Abuja highway on October 26, even after a ransom was allegedly paid for his release.
Narrating her ordeal, Victoria said that she was dragged in the bush like a cow. At a point, she lost her strength, and begged the kidnappers to terminate her life.
When the intensity of her plea to the abductors became too much for them, she said that the kidnappers sought the permission of her husband to kill her, but the husband pleaded with them to spare her so that she could take care of him if they were eventually released.
At a point, Victoria was left alone in the bush, and she slept off till the following day without seeing the kidnappers nor her husband, as she told The Cross News, an in-house publication of the Catholic Church in Kaduna.
Recounting the horrific experience, Victoria said: “When we started the journey into the forest, I wasn’t meeting their expectation. They were dragging us away like cattle and I hadn’t the strength to walk like them.
“They were beating me so that I will walk as fast as they were walking, but when I got to a particular location and discovered the beating was becoming unbearable, I begged them to just kill me. After all, this life is only once. Kill me and let me go and rest.
“At a point, they told my husband that they were going to kill me. But my husband said if they kill me, who will he stay with?
At a certain point when they were about to take my husband away, they waited a bit. Then they said they would find a motorcycle to take me to a nearby town.
“We waited till I got tired and slept off in the bush till 6:00 a.m. I was alone there without my husband. I didn’t see them again in the morning.
“I felt they deceived me. Probably they were expecting that wild animals would come and feast on me.
“I started looking for a way out of the bush. I was stumbling because I was tired. I looked for a stick to support me while walking because I was very exhausted.
“Some herders that were rearing their cattle saw me and discovered that I was kidnapped so they took me to a Fulani settlement.
“I was able to know the owner of the settlement by name and I asked him to get a bike and convey me to my house and that was what happened. When we got to Iri village, they got a car that brought me back to Kachia. This is the little that I can say.”
On the killing of her husband, the widow, who retired as a permanent secretary in Kaduna State said: “I know that God will give me the grace to bear the irreparable loss. I hope the death of my husband will bring peace to Kaduna State, most especially the Southern part of Kaduna and that it may be the end of kidnapping, armed robbery and crisis. I pray that God will receive his soul.
“There should be provision of maximum security because there is laxity in security, and the lives of people should be protected, particularly in Southern Kaduna. These kidnappers don’t know the value of human lives, most especially in the Southern part of Kaduna State.”
The late monarch was laid to rest in the penultimate Saturday. In a sermon during the funeral mass at St John’s Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Manoso Ndagoso, enjoined Christians to keep their faith alive despite the trying moment.
Ndagoso lamented the poor security measures in the country where Nigerians are no longer secured, adding that “government must be willing to adopt holistic approach in fighting insecurity in the country rather than the blame game for the past three and half years”.
The archbishop charged Christians to remain peaceful and accept the death of the paramount ruler in good faith. He said that the late monarch was a simple, peaceful and committed Christian whose exemplary life is worthy of emulation.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) in Kaduna State recently paraded six suspects in connection with the killing of the Agom Adara.
The Director of the DSS in the state, Mahmud Ningi, said they were arrested at different locations in the state.
Ningi said that the suspects demanded a ransom of N100 million from the monarch’s family for his release, but N6.8 million was paid and they still killed him.