They almost set me ablaze: Dino Melaye on how he spent 11 hours in the wilderness

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When news broke that Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, had been kidnapped, a lot of conspiracy theories quickly took shape.

Both Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, who made the announcement, Thursday morning and the ‘abducted’ senator were hot topic for the day. Many argued that Melaye faked his own kidnap, either to cause unnecessary drama or avoid going to court.

The senator was reportedly kidnapped morning, along the Abuja-Lokoja Highway and his brother, Moses Melaye had informed Mr Ben Bruce.

However, in an interview with Premium Times today,  the senator recounted of how he spent 11 hours in the wilderness after escaping from his assailants. He noted that he wasn’t kidnapped but escaped in order to save his life.

On how it began

Mr Melaye said he was on his way to Lokoja from Abuja for a court appearance on Thursday morning and just a little away from Gwagwalada, a convoy of three vehicles drove recklessly by his vehicle, intercepting him on the highway and forcing him to stop.

Firstly, they tried to open fire to force themselves into the vehicle, but soon realized it wouldn’t work as his vehicle was well-fortified with bullet-proof. As a second resort, he said they tried to set him ablaze.

“They started shouting that they wanted to burn me, they said ‘burn him, burn him down,’ and crossed the road to look for tyres to set the vehicle on fire.”

He said as his assailants were in a frantic search for tyres with which to burn him, he got out of the vehicle and quickly jumped into the bush.

“I jumped into the bush, and I started running. They pursued me and I was able to outmanoeuvre them and climb a tree.

“I was on top of the three when I saw them run past looking frantically for me. When they didn’t find me, they also ran back.”

On his brother

“I was going in a totally different vehicle, but I asked my brother to drive behind me in an SUV as a back-up,” he said. “But I was shocked to see the attackers run into the middle, creating wall between my brother and I before attacking me.”

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