The two Nigerian students who were held hostage at a Bosnian camp say the two things they missed most during the period of their ordeal were Nigerian food and freedom.
Abia Uchenna and Eboh Chinedu students of Federal University of Technology Owerri were held hostage in Bosnia-Herzegovina Border Camp for about a month and arrived Abuja, Nigeria last night.
The Students who were officially received by the Secretary, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi on behalf of the Chairman/CEO NIDCOM, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa decried the poor treatment they received at the hands of the Croatian authorities.
Recounting their ordeal, the dou said it all started when they decided to take an afternoon walk and see the city after they wee knocked out of the table tennis tornament they had travelled to participate in.
According to them, they were accosted by a policeman who didn’t understand English language and mistook them for illegal migrants to Bosnia. All attempts to exonerate themselves failed due to a communication gap and they found themselves whisked away to a Bosnian camp several hours away after undergoing severe threats and intimidation in a van used for transporting criminals.
Uchenna who spoke for them both most of the time said they were about twelve others in the van with other unknown nationals ,Pakistanis,Afghanistan’s, Indians, etc.
” I was crying, asking them where they were taking us to”.
” They came to a place ,looking ahead was bush, forest. So they now brought everybody down and they gave me the carton that contained my phone, his (Chinedu’s) phone, my belt, and then the Euros we were with ,300 Euros and ten dollars was not there”.
“The policeman used his torch,flashed in the bush and said ,go! Bosnia. They now now pushed everybody out”.
Meanwhile, Uchenna and Chinedu after narrating their ordeals which include: language barrier, harsh and hostile treatment and camp conditions as well as feeding. They said they are however overwhelmed with joy to be back home.
“we are very very very happy to be back home to Nigeria. There is no country better than Nigeria especially the freedom we enjoy here.” We want to thank especially Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa. She is indeed a mother. That woman is so so kind.” They contnued: “the way she spoke to us on telephone from Nigeria when were in camp in Bosnia was very encouraging, we cant thank her enough, She put us in hotel and fed us very well here in Abuja.”
The two Nigerians were also appreciative of the quick intervention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary and all Embassy Staff in Budapest.
Dr Bassi who recieved them on behalf of the Chairman NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri- Erewa urged the two Nigerians (students) to always be of good behaviour wherever and whenever they find themselves by obeying the laws of their country of stay. Dr Bassi commended the Federal Government through the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geofrey Onyeama, the Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary and all Mission Staff for the humane and prompt response to the plight of the two Nigerians. Furthermore, the NIDCOM Secretary commended the timely and untiring efforts and energy by the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa for ensuring their release and return home to Nigeria.
Newsannexonline recalls that the duo of Uchenna and Chinedu were in Croatia for the International University Table Tennis Tournament but arrested while on a walk out in the capital for their inability to present supporting documents(which they claimed were in their hotel rooms) and were transferred to Bosnia-Herzegovina Border Camp where migrants are processed. They were arrested on November 16, 2019 but released and back home December 21st, 2019.