Following the abduction and release of Kim Dido, a son of Rev. Andrew Dido who is a Chaplain of Chapel of Faith, Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi LGA on 20th day of February, 2019, a visit was paid to the man of God in his residence at Staff Quarters of the institution to ascertain the current state of the situation. In order to elicit the fact of the present situation, Barr. Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri had an interface with the victim and his parents on 26th day of February, 2019 during which Rev. Andrew Dido reiterated the ordeal his son and other family members went through when Kim was abducted by armed Fulani herdsmen. He said, “after we came back from prayer program for hitch-free general elections, my residence was invaded by three armed Fulani herdsmen one of whom attempted shooting me, but God intervened through one of them that hit the rifle that shot twice at a very close range. They demanded for money which I surrendered an offering realized at the prayer program.” In spite given them the money, the abductors still went ahead and took Kim Dido in a stead of his nephew who is one of many IDPs that are under the care of the man of God.
At about 11:00 am or thereabout of the following day, a niece of Kim linked up with the Fulanis through a phone call that availed the father, Rev. Dido an opportunity to commence communication with the said abductors who demanded for a sum of #20,000,000.00 Nigerian Naira (~$55,000). He said, “when one of my nieces tried the phone that was taken away by the Fulani, it was picked and the abductors asked her to hand over the phone to me which she did. We had a long talk during which they demanded for #20,000,000.00 Nigerian Naira as condition precedent for the release of Kim. I told them that I don’t have such amount. The negotiated went on until when they agreed to accept a sum of #500,000.00 Nigerian Naira (~$1400) which I personally took to an interior bush in Barkin Ladi LGA and dropped at a location described by the herders. Meanwhile, the Fulani sounded a warning that there shouldn’t be an involvement of Nigerian Police Force or the Military if he wants Kim alive.
On how the said amount was realized, Rev. Andrew Dido said, “I was able to raise a little amount but appreciate concern individuals who, after hearing about the demand, swung into contribution and the money demanded was realized, making it possible to meet with the demand. This show of love demonstrated by Christian brothers including the Management of Polytechnic is overwhelmingly appreciative.’’ He also narrated that, “after delivery of the money, the abductors assured me that my son will be back in 30 minutes time, and that I should just stand by gate of Polytechnic which I did.” Having been assured of the safe return of his son, the man of God hopefully waited at the school gate for some hours until about 7:00 pm or thereabout, he receive a phone call from his residence that “Kim is back. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement, without any hesitation, I rushed home and found my son very healthy and hearty, no bruise or injury, even though his appeared to be mildly unbalanced psychologically possibly because of the trauma he went through, but I appreciate God for his intervention’’ he said.
In further response to the vulnerability of his family and other residents at the Staff Quarters in the institution, Rev. Dido said, “we are not safe in this environment; you can see that a frontal fence erected around the school is just a camouflage as it does not cover the whole school’s environment, that is why Fulani usually come and graze right inside the Quarters. No one is safe here, especially my family members who have been totally displaced from Gashsish District, 11 of whom are living here while majority are in IDPs Camps.” In additional response, he pointed out to a fact that his family members including himself have been made prime targets of Fulani herdsmen who had severally accused him of arming native Christians against the wake of ongoing modern jihad, which he said has been investigated and proved as false allegation. This assertion has been affirmed by his son, Kim Dido who, when interviewed, said that “when I was drew away into an unknown bush in the night of my kidnap, the kidnappers asked whether my father has arms,…‘’ among many other questions posed to the young man who denied of knowing such in his reply. The boys reiterated that the abductors said they were sent to their residence to get him abducted and that he should lie to his father through phone call that two people were killed right before him, and that he would be the next if the ransom demanded is not paid, which he did.
Looking at the surroundings of the environment, it is undeniable that Rev. Andrew Dido and family are very much exposed to a likely state of witnessing a similar or worst of the recent ordeal they went through considering the fact that his residence is the last building at the outskirt of the school environment, immediate after which is a wide bush with shrubs and trees thereby making them in a more vulnerable state with no presence of security personnel in spite of repeated appeals. He said, “my brothers are currently under my care after their displacements from Gashish District. This is where my immediate and extended family members including my displaced parents and other relations came and took their refuge as IDPs. There is nowhere to go as our family house in the village was razed down in June 23rd, 2018.’’ The family is indeed living in perpetual fear as no deliberate step is made to secure the area even after the release of the abductee who always exhibits some nuptial shocks whenever he wakes up at night.
When asked as to whether his faith was demoralized by the sad incident, he said, “I appreciate God for the grace that made me strong and hopeful that bearing in mind that Kim is a divine child and that God will bring him back even though I was much concerned as to what he might be going through before his release. When the incident happened, we went into intense prayers and praising God who indeed showed himself that he is God! If not because of the grace, we could have been broken in view of the fact that Kim is our first issue after many years of marriage without a child, ….we were encouraged with heavy presence of brethren who came and turned the whole place into prayer and praises to God until the release of Kim.’’ It is further revealed that even some Muslims were among those that commiserated with the family. Surprisingly, Kim echoed his stance over his abduction, saying that “when they drew me into the bush up to the rocky area I was taken, I was not afraid as God gave me the strength through prayer I continually consistently professed within me.’’ He also pointed out to a fact of God’s grace upon him, “they did not beat or frighten me; they even offered me food but I did not take it, for I was not feeling hungry throughout the time I had with the kidnappers who were 5 in number and were Fulani, even though one of them spoke in Yoruba dialect but told me that he is not a Yoruba and that he is regretting why he is into this kind of lifestyle’’ he said. Kim similarly said, like his father, that he was hopeful and praying to God not to allow him spend another night in hostage again. In his prayers, he said, “God, I want to be with my parents today. But if it is your will that I die, let your will be done, but I want to go to my parents and not spend another night here.”
In relation to a present state of mind of the family and the direct victim, Rev. Dido said, ‘’we are happily re-united with our son now, but our security in this place is never guaranteed, more so that the Fulani herdsmen know that we are still living in this house that does not even have a strong door, for the abductors banged on the backdoor and got into the house without any stress because the doors are of inferior materials” as the family have no option than to continue living in such apartment. Kim also registered his bewilderedness over their continued stay in that most vulnerable area, saying that “I will be glad to see that my parents relocate from this place otherwise the Fulani who appeared to have been targeting my family may come again” to unleash a heinous mission on the man of God whom they abductors confessed to the victim that they were sent to killed his father but they decided not to carry out such mandate.
- In view of the aforementioned facts, it was appealed as follows:
- Intercession through prayer be explored for their security in that environment;
- Any assistance to get them relocated to a more secured environment will be highly appreciated since the family has been made a target of the Fulani who have not only killed many of the family members including hundred of native Christians, but have also successfully traced his present place of abode where other displaced relations of his have taken refuge;
- Trauma counseling is a need for Kim Dido who has been under nuptial psychological shock whenever he wakes up at night; and
- An intense prayer for the Church of God in Nigeria, especially Plateau State where Jihad and other Islamic terror attacks are increasingly witnessed with no political will-power to curb down the war.
- So enthralling is an appeal from kim who said, “I pray God and I also appeal that prayers be made to God to change the kidnappers so that they can stop what they are doing and become good people in the society” which is very touchy of a young person who was subjected to such an ephemeral experience that is sadistic.
In conclusion, the man of God passionately wished that a necessary intervention be stepped up by spirited individuals or organizations towards the above appeals in which they will be greatly appreciative since there is still no presence of security in that area.
By Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
National Coordinator of Emancipation centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria.