Cynthia Okereke, Nollywood screen diva who was recently abducted and released by gunmen, has said her abduction was a mistake, as she was not the target of the kidnappers.
Okereke and a colleague, Clemson Cornell, were kidnapped in Enugu State, and their kidnappers were said to have demanded a ransom of $100,000.
In an interview with Sunday Scoop, Okereke said, “They told me I was not the one they were looking for. They stated that since they could not get who they originally wanted, they had to take me. It was a coincidence.”
She also stated that contrary to some reports, a ransom was paid before she was released. She said, “It is a lie.”
Asked how much was paid to secure her freedom, the actress said, “That is what I won’t tell you, but a ransom was paid. I don’t want it to go viral but ransom was paid. My husband was the one who took the ransom to Ngwa in Abia State.”
While narrating her experience in the kidnappers’ hideout, she said, “They did not give me anything. For the first two days I was there, I was not given any food. It was on the third day they gave me milk and a malt drink. Because my stomach was empty, I knew that I would vomit if I took it, so I declined.”
Asked if the kidnappers recognised her as an actress, Okereke said, “When they captured us at Centenary Junction in Enugu, they said, ‘Cynthia Okereke, you think we don’t know you’? So, I asked them what they wanted and pleaded that they should take my car when they shot into the air. They said they did not need the car.”
On how they were transported to the criminal’s lair, the actress said, “We were wrapped with a trampoline and taken to an unknown destination. It was the following morning that one of them asked me if I know where I was. I said I didn’t no, and told me we were in Ebonyi State.”
Recalling some of the things the kidnappers told her while in their camp, she said, “They said Nollywood is not supporting Nnamdi Kanu (founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra), that we should come out en masse to support him. According to them, ‘Kanu is fighting for every one (Igbo people).”
Meanwhile, when Sunday Scoop put a call through to the other kidnapped actor, Clemson Cornel, the person who answered the phone stated that he was receiving treatment in the hospital.