Victims speak about Nigeria abduction

Niger Delta
Niger Delta environmental damageflickr / Sosialistisk Ungdom – SU

The three Dutch nationals who were released by their Nigerian kidnappers on saturday landed safely at Schiphol this morning. Only one of the returnees was seen at the exit, the other two left the airport via another exit, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. 

Erhard Leffers, Marianne Vos and Jandries Groenendijk were in Nigeria on invitation from the local community, they were there to promote the magazine of activist Sunny Ofehe. Ofehe was also kidnapped, but released shortly after, and has been updating the press about the welfare of the hostages. He traveled back to the Netherlands with them.

Jandries Groenendijk was the only one who talked to the media at Schiphol. He said that around 15 young men between 16 and 30 years of age captured them. The hostages were held in a remote location, reachable only by small boats, in the Niger Delta.

Groenendijk dismissed earlier reports that no loose cash was paid to the hostages. "We came free after negotiations with our kidnappers. There was no military action. We were constantly guarded by 15 men in the bush. We experienced scary moments, because they were heavily armed and threatened us with death. I myself heard them say one time that they were going to murder me. But we realized quickly that we were not going to be murder. We were treated relatively well further." Groenendijk does not know how much money was paid, and by whom.

In an interview with the NOS, Groenendijk lamented that one person did die during the hijacking. He said that a lot of shots were fired, and people jumped into the water. The victim was hit by the blades of the boat's motor.