Five Pakistanis who were members of a crew kidnapped by suspected pirates a fortnight ago off Bayelsa coast, have been released by their captors.They were reportedly freed early hours of Wednesday after members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) helped to approach their abductors.
The youth leaders led by former Secretary-General of IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, who spoke to newsmen Thursday in Yenagoa, claimed that he led some members of the IYC to facilitate the release of the expatriates but stressed that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers to secure freedom for the Pakistanis.
The five Pakistanis, Rashid Igbal, Wajid Muhammad, Waqas Admed, Mushtag Admed and Mujtaba Ghlum Muhammad, are working for Matrix Energy, an oil marketing and trading company.
Mujtaba Ghlum Muhammad, the leader of the crew, while narrating how they were taken and their ordeal while in captivity, said they were whisked away by gunmen numbering about five in a speed boat along the Akassa river in Bayelsa.
“They came in one speed boat, disposed us of our cash and valuables under gunpoint and asked us to enter their boat, before forcefully taking us away.
“We spent twelve days in the bush,” he said.
Muhammad, from discussions he gathered from the pirates, told reporters that their captors complained of government’s insensitivity to their plight as jobless youths, adding that bad leadership had left them with no choice but to take to a life of crime.
“These people are complaining about government. I heard them talk calling their boss ‘General’, they say they are doing this business because the government was not caring” .