Cover Stories, Interviews

The Orekoyas open up on their children’s kidnap ordeal (2): ‘Now that I have seen my children, I am very happy’ -Adebisi Orekoya (Mother)

How do you feel being re-united with your children?

Now that I have seen my children, I am very happy.

What would you say to other parents out there?

So many things we indulge in are not safe. We all know engaging a nanny is not good, even a family member can do worse. Did the government ever declare women should not work? We also have the right to work and we that employ nannies are creating jobs. For all those who are insulting me out there, they are only talking because they have not experienced it.

Some people are criticizing you for going through OLX?

This is not the first time I would be recruiting a nanny through OLX. Anytime I place an advert, OLX has nanny agents for anyone who needs their services. I cannot be in my office and walking around town looking for nanny agent. Because this one went wrong does not mean another one cannot be employed.

What is the nature of your job?

I am a banker, I work with the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

What was going on in your mind in those eight days?

It was not easy for me because whenever I sat down, I began to think, “How could I lose three children at a time. Only me, my children must come back.” I cried and kept pleading myself. I was with the police officers and you will always find me online, people still insulted me saying, “How can someone who is still looking for her children be online”. But I did not pay attention to all those comments. I had to be strong because it was not the time for me to be sad but to find my sons.

Was any ransom paid before their release?

I do not want to talk about that. I am only grateful my sons are back.

How did the police come handy in this search?

I really appreciate their efforts.

Do you intend getting a new house-help?

Actually, I have not sat down to really think about it but for now, I intend to take care of my children.

Do you have any regrets? And what are they?

If I had called my office the first day that I would not be at work, how long would I have to stay with her? She did not take the children the first day she started work because I was with her but for how long would I have done that?

When did she exactly resume duty?

She resumed on Wednesday and I left her around 11am to my own place of work. I came back home and met her. From the door, I knew she had done much work within and outside the house. Even from her attitude, I knew she was well trained. In fact, if she had stayed for more than a week, I would have started giving her things because she was playing with the kids as if they were her own. I would say she is a well trained kidnapper.

Did you have any nightmares?

I was only praying to God because I know He has never disappointed me. I have gone through so many issues in life and there was none that God did not sort out for me. So, that was my hope. I was the one leading the prayer session at my residence. I could not sleep not to talk of nightmares. Even if you call me around 3am I would pick your call except the line is busy. I was only able to sleep when I saw my children. The day we saw them, I was with them at the hospital so I won’t have another lady take them away again.

Where do you worship?

I worship at Daystar Christian Centre, Oregun, Lagos.

When you re-united with your children, were you able to detect all that they went through?

They were not talking except for the younger one who said, “Mummy, we were kept in a nylon bag, the heat was too much for me and they kept us inside the car”. He did not really know what he was saying because he said it playfully.

How is the 11 month old baby coping?

He is still afraid because he went through “harshness” from people and he suddenly saw love from everyone around him. He is still wondering about all that is going on.

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