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by Temilade Adefioye
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It made the news headline recently, the experience of an 18-year old teenager who was kidnapped from his father's house. The teenager shared his story with me in an interview.

ME:- Please, give us a short introduction about yourself.
My name is chosen, Iím 18 years old, my father is the king of my village-Camp Zion Village and the next to him is the High Priest. My mother is late and I have a brother and a sister.
ME:- What was the incident that led to your kidnap and how many years did you spend in captivity?
I spent six (6) years in captivity. On the day I was kidnapped, I was playing football in my fatherís compound, I had just clocked twelve years and I was very energetic and adventurous.
My father was upstairs in his room and my sister too was in her room. My friends came to play with us and the compound was becoming rowdy, so one of my friends suggested we went out to play so as not to disturb my father. This suggestion was against my fatherís rule and so my brother quickly ran inside the house out of fear, but I went along with my friends to play outside the house.
ME:- How was this idea against your fatherís rule?
My father had previously warned us never to play outside the compound no matter what happened.
ME:- Why?
He said we (the Kingís children) were prone to attack from enemies, especially me, because I am the heir to the throne.
ME:- What form of attack?
Kidnapping, murder and other types of physical injury.
ME:- How then were you kidnapped?
When we got outside, we planned to spend only 30 minutes, but after 30 minutes, we still wanted to play more.Though, I was getting afraid, but my friends encouraged me to play more.
All of a sudden, some gunmen swooped on us and carried us away. On our way, when they discovered I was the heir to the throne, they (the kidnappers) saw it as a useful money-making venture. So, they released my friends and sent them to my father to tell him they would only release me if my father paid a ransom. They didnít state explicitly what they wanted.
ME:- Can you tell us your experience while in captivity?
When the men took me away, they locked me up in a dark room and for about three days, I couldnít move away from my position because it was very dark. After the third day, my eyes got used to the darkness, and then I was able to move about.
I discovered that I wasnít alone in the room, some of my age mates and some other older and younger people were there with me. The captors in a bid to add life to the place put a radio and some drinks for us there. My fellow captives and I decided to forget our troubles, so we organized a mini-party with the radio and drinks there in the dark room. When the kidnappers saw we were not bothered much about our captivity, they brought us more drinks and we partied on in captivity.
ME:- How were you finally released because it seemed you enjoyed your stay there?
The partying didnít make us worry much, but the gunmen were really hard on us. To a large extent, it was a better experience.
Talking about my release, since my captors didnít state what they wanted, my father kept sending different kinds of things to them. Until one day, after about six years, he decided to send the High priest to them to know what they really wanted.
Traditionally, the King doesnít attend to anyone personally; the High priest is usually the mediator between the king and the people.
ME:- So, what did your captors tell the High priest they wanted?
Nothing, the just killed him (the High Priest) and released everyone else.
ME:- Does this suggest that your captors wanted the High priestís blood?
Yes, that was exactly what they wanted.
ME:- Didnít the High priest or your father know that the High priest was going to be killed for your release?
They did.
ME:- Then why did the High Priest go ahead to sacrifice himself for your release?
Because he loves me.
ME:- You mean the High priest loves you that much at the expense of his life?
Yes, he does.
ME:- Was your father allowed to take away the High priestís dead body?
Yes, he was and surprisingly, the High priest is alive today.
ME:- Really?
Yes, he is alive because he is very powerful.
ME:- Can you ever forgive your friends for luring you outside to play?
Yes, I have even forgiven them. Since I got out of captivity, my father and the High priest have been teaching me a lot of useful life lessons like love and forgiveness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This story illustrates the story of you and I. We all have strayed away from Godís love we have been captured by darkness and got used to the activities of darkness until God our father sent Jesus Christ the High priest to stand as a mediator for us and to enhance our release. Jesus died for us and he rose again to Godís glory.
How many years have you spent in darkness? Itís not too long or short for you to come back to the shelter of Godís love. The activities of darkness you participate in might look like fun, but take a good look at it; itís not really fun after all because you are far away from God.

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