Kidnap of Joshua Asuquo: family expresses worry over his life

March 13th, 2018

From Mathias Oko, Calabar

It was possibly one of the worst moments of his 58 years on earth for Joshua Asuquo Olugu, father of six and a native of  Udung-ukpong, in Okobo Local govt area of Akwa Ibom state as he watched himself helplessly being held hostage by kidnappers since November 4 last year.

 A  gang of four gunmen  shocked him and his family when he was  whisked away  before the watchful  eyes of his wife and children  at no. 20 Spatt Avenue , Ekpo Abasi, Calabar South local government area of Cross River state  to an unknown destination .

The Oron-born NNPC retiree never in his life dreamt that a day would come when his freedom will be  so  invaded and his person  humiliated . Neither could his family imagine  that a day will come when their father and bread winner as well as  defender would be unable to defend himself from external forces. But the invaders stormed  his abode  that faithful day and bundled him to an unknown destination .

Since then, uncertainties have beclouded his fate  as his whereabouts have   remained   a mirage. Fear, anguish and apprehension have gripped   his family members as  they  have  been wondering if their bread winner is  still alive or dead. Most worrisome is that, his abductors have  since  seized communication  and  kept them incommunicado even  about the  ransom they  earlier demanded from them without success.

The ordeal of the Asuquos  started that day when their father  was returning from   his routine outing at about 8 .00 pm. He got to his residence not knowing what fate awaited him. He least expected  that  he was being trailed by the dare- devil kidnappers .

 Soon after he drove into his premises, the gang accosted him with guns, and suddenly  occupied the car with him,  urging him to  reverse the car  out of his premises. Sensing the unhealthy scenario around him, Asuquo had no choice than to oblige. Soon after he drove out of his residence , one of  his curious daughters, sensing  that their father was in danger  attempted to raise  alarm to attract the attention of the neighbourhood, but  the abductors suddenly pointed gun at her,  threatening to silence her if she dared made further noise. . In fear of the unknown, she retreated while they sped away with their father to God knows where till today.

According to the daughter, confused as they were,  they ran around  thinking how to proffer solution to the imminent danger awaiting their father. They headed to the police station  but there was no respite .

 A day after, the kidnappers got in touch with the family requesting for twenty million ransom as a condition for the release of their bread winner.  Several pleas by the family  to the kidnappers  to accept #400,000 which they planned to raise, fell on deaf ears.

The issue became more confusing to the Asuquos when the hoodlums were calling with different phone numbers and sending different bank account numbers from  different banks to them  for the deal,  thereby making it difficult  for them to believe the sincerity of the kidnappers.

During  a telephone conversation betweeen the gang and Asuquo’s family, they promised to park Mr. Asuquo’s Lexus jeep in which he was whisked away at a designated point  along the highway for recovery, But they did not keep to their promise. The gang was said to have maintained communication for the first two weeks after the incident, but suddenly stopped.

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