24-year-old lady simply identified as Mercy, has escaped from a den of ritual killers after being lured with a fake lucrative job offer in Italy.
According to SaharaReporters, Mercy, who is based in Warri, Delta State, was told by a friend that there was a woman in Lagos State ready to sponsor them to Italy to work as sales attendants in stores and stewards for rich clients.
Mercy was made to believe that the salary was good and that they could pay for the travel expenses when they reached Italy and had started earning.
Desperate for a new life away from Warri, she did not inform her guardian, Maureen Eriyo, before leaving for Lagos State in October 2020 with her friend, who was also lured and tricked to believe the trip was real.
Their journey to Italy was to start immediately after they arrived in Lagos and met with the sponsor of their trip.
But things took a different turn when Mercy and her friend, who is now deceased, finally linked up with team members of the woman that was to take them to Europe in a house around Surulere, a Lagos suburb.
“Mercy and her friend were given laced juice to drink when they arrived at the place they were to meet with the person, who promised to take them to Italy. They became unconscious for hours and only realised that they were in danger when they found themselves in a forest.
“Mercy summoned the courage to ask the men who had guns to take them out of the place but they beat her so much that she fainted,” Eriyo told SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
The days that followed that period were hellish for Mercy and the other ladies, who found themselves in the forest and at the receiving end of the cruelty dished out by the gun-wielding men.
Apart from being subjected to several hours of rape daily, the victims of the abduction and ritual killing network were made to endure hunger for several days.
They were only given two slices of bread once in three days and made to drink from a dirty pond inside the forest.
Mercy and many of the victims fell sick at various times while in captivity with some of them dying in the process.
“Many of the young ladies lured by this syndicate died of hunger and diseases from the dirty water they drank while in the forest.
“Their body parts were sold to ritualists who constantly demanded such. A lady who got pregnant and delivered there died but the baby survived. The gang used the innocent child for rituals along with the mother’s body.
“The place was a forest of death where no victim ever came out alive. The area was fortified and watched by members of this syndicate who all had sophisticated guns with them,” Eriyo added.
After spending around nine months inside this den, Mercy, her late friend and two others summoned the courage to escape from the place despite the presence of the gun-wielding men in various sections of the forest.
One day, after those guarding the place, were excessively high on drugs and alcohol and had dozed off, a handful of the victims escaped from the place.
They walked for three days inside the forest before getting to an expressway where a truck driver transporting food items to Lagos reluctantly carried them in his vehicle to the city.
The friend, who introduced the Italy trip to Mercy, did not make it out of the forest – she died while they were escaping from the place.
“Mercy is still in shock over everything she went through inside that forest. She returned to Warri last Thursday and gave birth by Caesarean section on Sunday.
“She was impregnated by her captors, who took turns to rape her and other ladies in the bush. Others like her who got pregnant in that forest and delivered there had their babies collected from them for ritual purposes.
“The trauma and pain are still fresh for her because many times she screams from her sleep, afraid that those people in the forest would come back to take her. The situation is affecting her mentally.
“She needs a lot of help to overcome the pain. I am trying my best to support her in ways I can but she needs great help.
“She is still in the hospital after giving birth by CS. Her health is of great concern to us because she has high blood pressure at the moment. She needs urgent assistance and intervention in various forms,” Eriyo said.
Gov. Makinde renews pledge to deliver good governance to Oyo people
Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde Tuesday, promised that his administration will continue to use the state’s commonwealth for the good of the people in all the nooks and crannies of the south west state.
The governor, who stated this while receiving hundreds of members of the Iseyin Development Union, led by His Royal Majesty, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Dr. Abdul-Ganiyy Salaudeen, said all zones in the state will witness rapid development under his watch.
A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to the Governor, Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Iseyin residents led by the Aseyin and well-meaning indigenes of the town paid the solidarity visit to the governor at the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
While addressing them, Governor Makinde maintained that residents of Iseyin and all other towns in the state should expect more monumental projects across the state, adding that these projects will welcome new faces and bring development to the state.
He explained that the only thing his administration can do is to leave the state better than it met it, calling on all and sundry to join hands with the government in its bid to develop the state.
Governor Makinde, who promised that his administration will continue to spread out and develop the state, said: “I want to greet the Kabiyesi Aseyin of Iseyin, other chiefs, and other dignitaries here present.”Sincerely, I am overwhelmed by this show of appreciation and the reason is that you are acknowledging the works I have been doing since I came into government.
“But indeed, it is your money that is working, not the money of Seyi Makinde’s father. It is our commonwealth and the essence of government is to use the commonwealth for the common good of our people and this is what we will continue to do as an administration.
“The only thing we can do as a government is to leave the state better than we met it. And, fortunately for my people in Iseyin, where the geography places Iseyin zone, you can accommodate.
“You can see that the journey from Moniya to Iseyin is just 45 minutes now, and it means that someone can be working at Secretariat and come from Iseyin every day. So, it is not necessary that all of us must squeeze ourselves inside Ibadan. “We want to spread out and develop the state as a corridor for all the zones in Oyo state.
“Let me plead with you that development is still ongoing and the government is doing what it is supposed to do in terms of infrastructure. “The development will come naturally from investors but what we need from you is your cooperation with the government.
“Among the projects, we want to carry out is the Trans Motel in Iseyin, which should have been done. But there are few people who are constituting themselves as clogs in the wheel of progress. Baba, please we want you to talk to them because we want nightlife in Iseyin. We want those traveling to Ado-Awaye to have the opportunity to stay and spend the night at Iseyin.
“Once the university also takes off, we need places for people to sleep. So, join hands with the government.
“If the economy becomes expanded, there won’t be poverty in the land. So, I want you to visualize what is coming. Iseyin is being linked to Oyo and when the road is completed in six months’ time, it will only take 20 minutes from Iseyin to Oyo. Iseyin is being linked to Ogbomoso and when the road is completed, it will be a maximum of an hour. So, we should expect an economy that will welcome new faces and development.
“Within 20 years, my focus is to make Iseyin link up with Ibadan. So, I want you to be prepared that development is almost at the arrival point to Iseyin and Oke Ogun zone.
“As you have come to show appreciation, we will double our effort as a government. “We will not disappoint ourselves and we will not disappoint you as well. I thank you very much and God bless.”
Earlier, the National President, Iseyin Development Union, Alhaji Bayo Raji, said that the visit was to thank the Governor Makinde-led administration for the various monumental projects across Oyo State and especially in Iseyin and Oke Ogun land, which includes; the completed Iseyin-Moniya Road spanning 65 kilometers, which link Ibadanland and Oke Ogun; location of LAUTECH College of Agriculture and Renewable Resources in Iseyin; the ongoing Iseyin-Oyo Road construction.
Others, he said, include the recently approved Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso road and the street light electrification at three strategic locations within the Iseyin metropolis as well as the completion of the Saki Township Road and the ongoing Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho Road construction.
Raji added that the government has equally completed various abandoned projects across the state, noting that the state has never had it so good since independence.
He maintained that within two to three years, the present administration has laid new standards for governance, saying: “With what your administration has done, we are assured that the future of Oyo State will be better.
“We cannot thank you enough. But we shall continue to pray for you and your government for redirecting the state policy, showcasing modern standards, and serving as a model in leadership, governance, and party management.”
Also speaking, Senator Gbenga Babalola, appreciated the governor, saying that the people of Iseyin could not but identify themselves with Makinde, who he described as an uncommon governor, a promise keeper.
Babalola stated: “We cannot but identify ourselves with you. When you were seeking election, we were skeptical because we have always been inundated with promises that were never kept. But since you became governor, you have shown fairness. You have inculcated fairness in governance.”
The Lawmaker equally declared that as a mark of appreciation to the governor, the Iseyin community has decided to confer on him and his wife the titles of Aare Atunluto and Yeye Aare Atunluto of Iseyinland.
NCC boss, Danbatta charges staff to sustain effective service delivery
Members of staff of the Ibadan Zonal Office (IBZO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have been tasked to sustain their commitment to regulatory effectiveness in keeping with Commission’s strategic objectives.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this call recently in Ibadan when he visited the IBZO of the Commission en route Osogbo to deliver the 10th and 11th Convocation Lecture of the Fountain University.
Speaking later at an interactive session with staff of the Zonal Office, Danbatta commended the zonal controller and his team on the good work they have been doing in ensuring the people of the zone feel the presence and impact, as well as the significance of the Commission’s regulatory activities.
In a news release signed Tuesday by the NCC Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, EVC urged the staff of the Commission not to relent on the successes that have been recorded, imploring them to rededicate themselves to their assigned responsibilities, in order to sustain effective delivery of regulatory services to the people of the zone in keeping with Commission’s commitment to ensuring greater regulatory effectiveness.
Danbatta asserted that his appeal takes life off the fact that the Commission and its staff have become major drivers of the Federal Government’s vision for the birth of a robust digital economy as encapsulated in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 and the Nigerian national Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025.
“The NCC CEO reminded the staff of the necessity to internalize the regulatory imperatives of the Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2021-2024, as well as the Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, both of which are streamlined implementation roadmaps by which the Commission plans to actualize the national digital economy and broadband targets as articulated by the Federal Government” the statement said.
In his response, the Controller, Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission, Yomi Arowosafe who spoke on behalf of the staff of the Zonal Office, expressed gratitude to the Management for the visit and promised that the zonal office would sustain effective delivery of NCC’s regulatory services to the people of the geo-political zone.
The EVC, management and other staff in his entourage were earlier received on arrival at Ibadan by Arowosafe, who led the EVC and his team on a tour of the Zonal Office.
In the EVC covnvoy were: NCC’s Director, Projects, Abigail Sholanke; Director, Digital Economy, Dr. Austin Nwaulune; Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; Head Research and Development, Kelechi Nwankwo; and other senior management staff of the Commission.
Recall that the IBZO was established in October 2005 to bring the Commission’s regulatory services closer to the South West geopolitical zone, except Lagos and Ogun which are in the purview of Lagos ZonalOffice. However, the jurisdictional sphere of the Ibadan Zonal Office, however includes other South West states and Kwara State.
The recently constructed NCC Zonal Office building at Ibadan became fully functional in 2015 when the Commission’s Management directed staff to commence operational activities from the new complex.