He asked members of Adoration Ministry to lift up their hands as he began to pour hot prayers over the Priest obviously in challenge and condemnation of whatever might have led kidnappers to touch a priest, let alone kidnapping him. He gave an ultimatum that before the end of the week that that priest would have been released. At this point of the prayer, AMEN Super News like some of the adorer wondered if Fr. Mbaka remembered that that day was actually the end of that week. How that could be possible that the priest who had been held by the kidnapper for days will release him that day, one wondered.
In the face of his prayer, Fr. Mbaka was emphatic, that the Priest before the week ended would be released. And so it happened that in matter of hours after the said prayer, Rev. Fr. Emma Ugwu, the Kidnapped priest of Nsukka Diocese was confirmed released. AMEN Super News reporters followed up this story to see the priest and hear the gist of what transpired between him and the Kidnappers.
The said priest narrated his story in the following words:
It was on Saturday the 9th day of August, 2014 at about the hour of 7pm. I attended ordination ceremony of my classmate at Enugu.
On my way back to Nsukka I drove through Ugwuogo Opi – Enugu road. After the Arab construction yard, I descended the hill, then a Peace Mass Transit bus overtook me and I slowed down my car. Immediately, there was a shout, coupled with release of gun shots. The men on the blocked the center of the road, forced me out of the vehicle and laid me down.
During the encounter, a police van passed with siren, the men of the underworld made little escape into the bush. But as soon as the police van did not stop, they knew that the police did not understand what was going on.
They forced me into the bush, leaving my car there on the road. I tried to explain to them that I am a priest but they could not understand. They used cutlass to clear their ways in the forest as they took me along with them. They also had torch with them as it was a thick and dark forest. After about a distance of one mile into the bush, we met another of their group. There they exchanged their gun, handed me over and collected my money and phones leaving my wrist watch. As the journey continued they encouraged me to keep on as the journey may last for 3days and that we may even get to Lagos on foot.
By 11pm, they cleared grasses, spread water proof and asked me to lie down and sleep. They positioned themselves around me. While some slept, others were awake as I could not sleep. When it rained, it rained on me. When it was sunny, I bore the scorch.
When I pleaded with them to release me because of the Holy Mass I will celebrate on the following Sunday, they made mockery of me, saying that they will celebrate with me in the forest.
On the next day they gave me phones to call my people that would pay for my ransom. As I try to call, some of the numbers would connect but the receiver would not pick, while some would not connect. Whenever any of the calls is connected, they would collect the phone from me for negotiation with the person. When it turns out negative or the person is pleading, they would switch off the phone and give me some hell of beating.
Inside the forest, I saw human skulls, and they told me the skulls were my brothers’ that very soon I would join them. I guessed within me they could be the skulls of those they kidnapped who could not pay their ransom- but I trusted God.
I had my wrist watch with me. Maybe it was because it was rubber-like that made them not to collect it; with that watch, I never omitted to say my divine mercy prayer. Every evening, they would send out someone to buy them food. They took more of snacks with Lacasara, cooked junk rice and beans. They forced me to eat but I had no appetite. One day, one of them had a phone call asking him to bring human parts for them in Obollo- Afor, my heart skipped. But the receiver told him that he was too far for the location.
Also, they interacted with people who it appeared to me they are of Boko Haram group. They talked about the troubled areas like Zamfara state and every negative information from their distant group. On the daily journey, we would cross about eight rivers; one was so deep that they asked me to pull off my clothes. As I enter the river it was up to my chest. They would always cover their faces whenever we go to meet another group. They were up to 40 in number. On the 6th day it was the solemnity of our blessed mother Mary. I made two prayer points to her: to help and rescue me from the situation, and that I will testify to the world or to assume my body and soul with her. That same Friday, they left my phone on waiting for more bargain from my people. My brother called me and told me that they were looking for me with anti kidnapping squad officer, but I changed the topic not allowing them to understand my discussion with my brother. At a time, I became tired of praying as I had prayed all I could. I rather started to pray for my happy death. Then, Jesus came to my help.
At one point of the forest, they started hearing heavy sporadic gun shots, fear engulfed them, they became rather confused. Some of them that were sent out as usual could not be reached on phone. They had told me that that would be my last day. With the shots, they took to their heels and said to me,” yes, your people will kill you”. But however I was happy at least they may find my body.
Then, they deserted me. I started a fresh journey but didn’t know any way out. For nearly four hours, I could not find my way out. As I was missing my way going back again, I saw a dead animal. Its body was torn into pieces with fresh blood. I felt it may be a lion that have done that. I feared it would not spare me if it met me.
Indeed, courage came into me that I started singing a song “you shall cross the valley just you shall see the face of God and live”.
I climbed a hill and behold strength came into me. At the valley I saw a tipper lorry and heard its horn but could not find the way to get the road. Moving a bit further, I heard noise of people. Then, I started shouting somebody help me, I screamed many times and a man ran to my rescue. He led me out, and where I happened to find myself was toward Face 6 Trans-Ekulu Enugu.
When this man that assisted me put a call across to my brother, my brother told me the Kidnappers called him and told him that they dumped me at new market but that was just a ploy to save their own lives as they felt they were being attacked. To God be the glory all the wounds inflicted on me got healed on its own. Even my lip that was broken has joined on its own. Naturally, I am allergic to cold, but throughout my stay in the bush, it rained on me and dried on its own but I never felt ill.
It was really a journey of life and death. I bless the Almighty God, all who have prayed for me, also Rev. Fr. Mbaka who prayed for me on Friday 15th of August and on the 16th, I was released.” My phone number is 08088241928.