Mark Emmanuel: Kidnap Survivor Shares His Experience In Edo State

Mark Emmanuel: Kidnap Survivor Shares His Experience In Edo State

Mark Emmanuel Amechi is a personality development expert, a motivational speaker, a career counselor, and an author with four published books.

He has a great passion for information sharing. And together with his wife, they founded an NGO called Scent Of Water Nigeria. The two are happily married with four kids.

Currently in a wheelchair, Mark Emmanuel, a kidnap survivor in a country where kidnap is becoming the order of the day, shared his experience with us.

Interview With Mark Emmanuel

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a very easy going fellow. I am married with 4 children. I am basically into teaching and information sharing.

I do it as a hobby, and as a business. I am always interested in helping people become a better version of themselves.

Myself and my wife founded an NGO called Scent Of Water Nigeria. We organize seminars, counsel people, expose them to requisite information that we believe they would need to become better.

Can you tell us about your kidnap experience in Benin?

Yes. On February 19th, 2021, I was traveling to my former city to pick up some of my things — since I just relocated to a new city.

Along the highway, in a place called the Benin Bypass. I got ambushed along with three other vehicles by seven armed masked men. The two heavy duty trucks among us were left alone when they both spoke in Hausa language. The Mercedes Benz car that was in front of me tried to make a run for it; they shot and killed the people inside.

I was taken into the forest and the men asked that I provide the sum of 50 million Naira for my ransom or else I wouldn’t come out of the forest alive, nor see another day. I begged for my life but they didn’t listen to me. The leader told me that since I couldn’t provide the money, they will kill me.

Much later, around sun down, we started walking through the bushes towards the main road — I could hear sounds of cars from a distance. We got to a spot where they divided themselves into five and two. The five continued towards the road and they asked me to follow the two back into the forest. I assumed that they were taking me to where they would kill me. I tried to make a run for it while we were walking into the forest.

One of the two pursued after me and when he caught up with me, we got into a small wrestle over the machete he was holding. He succeeded in gaining control over the machete and having overpowered me, he began cutting me with a machete. I tried to defend myself by blocking the sharp object from reaching sensitive parts of my body. In the process, he eventually broke my left leg, just by the tibia bone, my left palm bone, and tore the right side of my head — very close to my ear.

Somehow he decided that he would finish me off with his gun but he couldn’t find it. He left me there to go look for the gun. Right at that moment, I had the opportunity of saying a short prayer, which I thought would be my last. I thanked God and asked for a safe path to heaven, but at the end I pleaded not wanting  to die on that day.

When they all returned to meet me; it was already dark at the time. My thought was that they would all open fire and finish me immediately. But the leader somehow looked at me, rejected the idea of the guy shooting me, and said that they would leave me like that in the forest. That was after I begged them to spare my life.

They eventually left me in the forest after the guy I wrestled with had further attempted to shoot me by returning a second time while I was creeping with my knees and elbows — my leg and hand were already broken.

I crept for about 45 minutes and luckily got to the highway in the middle of the night. I slept on the road, naked, till morning of the next day. Some military officers saw me on their way to the barracks and helped me get an ambulance that took me to the hospital.

Honestly, it was a very gruesome and terrific experience, but I am very happy to have come out alive.

Have you observed any display of unusual behaviors following your experience?

Yeah I have, a few actually.

First, just when I was discharged from the hospital; I used to have terrible dreams. I sometimes wake up profusely shaking in the middle of the night.

Secondly, I have woken up in the middle of the night to see a stretch of highway just in front of my bed, just like it was that night. I woke my wife up sometimes to tell her what I was seeing.

However, it has all dissipated. I no longer have such experiences anymore.

How well do you think security agencies have been handling security in your area?

Security, just like many others, have been given very poor attention in my country Nigeria.

This is what has led to the upsurge of kidnapping and killings in virtually all our highways in Nigeria. Basically, my government has little or no regard for human life — of the populace. So, the struggle for survival is more of a personal affair in spite of the fact that our government was supposed to ensure the safety and security of the people.

What makes you proud as an African and what do you think of its future?

Honestly, there was a time I could say that I am proud, but not now, not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be an African; nothing can change that. But I am not proud because everything about Africa is like a joke to the world. There is nothing to be proud about in Africa. I can pride in the hope of a better Nigeria, a better Africa, but presently, I am tearful, knowing that Africa is nosediving.

The hope of a better Africa largely depends on two factors:

First is the acquisition of relevant knowledge for our much needed transformation — I talked a little more on this in my book “Arise O Compatriot” now selling on Amazon.

Second is the ridding away of power drunk, and overaged leaders in Africa. The selfishness of African leaders, who have in a bid to get and remain in power till death, without any meaningful ideation, contributes over 50 percent of Africa’s predicaments.

We will therefore begin to make headways when we begin to dissociate these elements from our political economy.

Thank you for speaking with us Emmanuel.

Honestly, there was a time I could say that I am proud, but not now, not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be an African; nothing can change that. But I am not proud because everything about Africa is like a joke to the world. There is nothing to be proud about in Africa. I can pride in the hope of a better Nigeria, a better Africa, but presently, I am tearful, knowing that Africa is nosediving.

The hope of a better Africa largely depends on two factors:

First is the acquisition of relevant knowledge for our much needed transformation — I talked a little more on this in my book “Arise O Compatriot” now selling on Amazon.

Second is the ridding away of power drunk, and overaged leaders in Africa. The selfishness of African leaders, who have in a bid to get and remain in power till death, without any meaningful ideation, contributes over 50 percent of Africa’s predicaments.

We will therefore begin to make headways when we begin to dissociate these elements from our political economy.

Thank you for speaking with us, Mark Emmanuel.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.
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