Professor Prince Ordu was kidnapped in Kwale Delta State in Nigeria in 2011. For nine days he endured daily beatings and torture. His hostage takers demanded a ransom or he would be killed, his body slaughtered.
"They busted my door and pointed the gun at me, and said 'If you move you will be shot,'" Ordu said.
He clearly remembers the day, September 11, 2011.
Ordu said he is breaking his silence in the hopes it will help bring back the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped on April 14th by terrorist group Boko Haram.
"Each time it comes to my memory it makes me cry. It is not something anybody can wish his worst enemy to be kidnapped," Ordu said.
Ordu was working as a professor at Novena University in Ogume, Nigeria when he said six men broke into his home. Two were armed with AK-47s, which he would later learn, were rented guns. The fact that they were rented would play a major role in whether he lived or died.
But, before the rented guns came into the conversation, Ordu was tortured, beaten, and interrogated daily about where his family was and how much money they could pay for a ransom.
"They started burning me with cigarettes, punching me in the face, I was blindfolded. I was blind for nine days. They never took it off my face," Ordu said. "I didn't see sky or sun until the day I was released. They kept asking where is my wife, where is my family, if I don't tell them where my family is they are going to slaughter me and throw my body in the front of the university."
Ordu said he never told them he had a family in the United States.
"If I tell them, then they have the power," Ordu said.
After a couple days of stubbornness, Ordu said the men began to have conversations in the next room about how they were going to kill him. The problem, though, was that the guns were rented and each day his ransom wasn't paid they were in debt for the weapons, accruing a daily balance.
"They started beating me. These guys were negotiating in the other room how they are going to kill me," Ordu said. "It got time to take a vote. They said, 'We are not going to kill this man, he is a good man. We just need money.'"
At some point, Ordu said the kidnappers were able to get in touch with officials at his university. The kidnappers demanded $30,000 in exchange for Ordu's life.
"Whenever family members called they told me what to tell them, they said 'Tell them you are dying, that you are going to die if we don't get the money,' so that's what I told my family over the phone," Ordu said.
Negotiations continued until the ninth day of his captivity. Ordu's wife Sharon was able to send the ransom money via Western Union. Ordu didn't know his life had been paid for when the men came back and took him into the bush in the dead of night.
"When they unchained me, I was like 'Lord, what is going on here?'" Ordu said. "I started praying 'God, I thank you for creating me.' I just said my last prayer to God because at that time I thought they brought me out here to really kill me."
Ordu was unchained, his blindfold removed, and that was it, he was free. In the middle of the night he walked through the bush and found a hotel and help. His wrists, ankles, body, and face suffer scars from the beatings and chains. Ordu said mentally he is still recovering.
For the first time in nearly three years since he was kidnapped Ordu said he felt compelled to break his silence to raise awareness about kidnappings in Nigeria. Every day he has watched the news on what is happening to the estimated 276 girls who were taken from a boarding school in Chibok.
"The reference to these young women, that is where it hurts me every day, because I know they have been tortured and by the grace of God, the kidnap of these girls will help to prompt and stop the kidnapping process in Nigeria," Ordu said.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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