Thursday, December 17, 2020 7:17 am
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
Every Nigerian is now a kidnapper.
When you do not see human beings to kidnap, you kidnap the truth. That is the Nigerian way of the here and now.
I can prove it by swearing at the dreaded Okija Shrine. Or even Fela’s Shrine, come to think of it!
The “forest of a thousand daemons” that Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka depicted in his translation of DO Fagunwa’s epochal novel pales in comparison to the wanton kidnappers who have taken over the greying green-and-white forest known as Nigeria.
The Kankara schoolboys of Katsina State have just been kidnapped as a welcome gift to President Muhammadu Buhari as he spends his holiday in his native Katsina State.
Katsina Governor Masari lamented that all of 333 students were kidnapped only for President Buahri’s spokesman Garba Shehu to counter that only 10 schoolboys were missing.
I fear that our friend Garba Shehu will test positive for taking performance enhancing drugs in doing his government job.
Before a positive drug test renders null and void the kidnap number game, let’s just recognize that the kidnap of the Kankara boys is an equalizer for the kidnap of the Chibok girls.
Buhari and his supporters will never allow us to forget that whatever former President Goodluck Jonathan could do, Buhari can do better.
If Jonathan saw the kidnap of girls, Buhari has upped the ante with the kidnap of boys. Now the “Bring Back The Girls” Brigade will bow and tremble and faint before the real champions of Buhari time, singing: “Bring Back The Boys!”
In this kidnapping matter, it’s cool to begin from the beginning when Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stood accused of kidnapping the Nigerian presidency from the so-called “core North.”
Back then, the Northern hegemony-mongers could not believe their eyes that a rank outsider from the Niger Delta had succeeded to “kolobi” the presidency, that is, to use a Niger Delta kidnap slang that means “to seize by the neck”.
In 2015 there was a heavy alliance of the self-advertised political sophisticates of the lagoon buccaneer and the feudal mandarins of the desert herdsman with not a little help coming from the letter-writing navigator to raise the needed ransom to recover the kidnapped presidency from the lair of the Ijaw man from Otuoke named Goodluck.
After paying the needed ransom to reclaim the kidnapped top slot, there came waffling noises here and there about the presidency being kidnapped totally to the North-North without any regards whatsoever to the other geo-political zones of the country.
No kidnapper worth his AK47 of tribalism cares a hoot about idle talks of federal character, constitutional order, democratic norms and whatnot!
Only the kidnap of cows draws the ire of the new sheriff in town. The kidnapping of humans is a free ride – from schoolboys and girls to all mere mortals running for their dear lives in the kidnap jungle of the Nigerian forest.
This way, Nigeria today is like a punch-drunk boxer badgered from pillar to post with no manager in sight to throw in the towel.
The service chiefs are glued to a spot with the special type of glue known as the Northern Glue.
Every Nigerian is now on his own obeying the mantra of kidnap or be kidnapped by unprecedented fuel price hikes, sky-gazing exchange rates, romanticized herdsmen, duplicitous border closures etc.
In the vast kidnapping playground of the so-called Giant of Africa, anything can happen and nobody is sacred.
Parents protesting the kidnap of their sons end up being tear-gassed in the service of the emperor of the kidnap.
Instead of clearing all the forests of Nigeria to rid us of kidnappers once and for all, there is the national drive of championing the cause of the planting of more Ruga trees, thereby creating more forests for kidnappers.
What can be more herdsmen-friendly than that?
If the Southern zone ends up being turned into one vast forest through the Ruga exercise of grass and forest, I am sure kidnappers would enjoy a free reign in Nigeria.
If you think I am jiving, wait for me to clear my eyes with Shine-Shine Bobo!
Now with my eyes very clear, I can see clearly that kidnappers are lurking in every corner of the promised nation.
As if to once again buttress the fact that kidnapping is everywhere in Nigeria, I have to sadly report that I have just been kidnapped in mid-sentence…
My kidnappers want a ransom of N116 million, that is the exact amount kidnapped by the Ministry of Petroleum as headed by Oga-at-the-Top to buy biros and letterheads.
With their AK 47 rifles pointing at my fat head, the kidnappers forced me to put a call across to Aso Rock demanding for the payment of the ransom.
My one prayer rang high that Garba Shehu’s fabled performance enhancing drugs should be active as ever.
The voice at the Aso end heard me out without saying a word in reply.
The kidnappers ordered me to repeat the call only for me to hear from the Aso Rock phone: “The number you are calling is currently switched off. Please try again later!”