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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

LOSE GAME - Recent Spate of Kidnapping

By On 09:08:00
 Just pulling out of the parking lot shortly after the meeting with the board on Monday evening, “don’t be scared,” a strange voice sounded from behind. Behind the rear-view mirror was a black woman who sat in the backseat, a shiny pistol pointing to my head. I forcefully pulled over the black rover jeep, all my veins stretched in fear. The tinted windscreens were wound up.
“I’ll blow your head off if you attempt any smart game,” the woman said in a calm and holy voice, as though just excommunicated from the convent. “Drive and don’t look back,” she ordered. I did as she directed until we got to the woods somewhere in the outskirts of the state.
“Stop,” she ordered. I did. I waited for the next command when four masked men appeared and forced themselves in. They grabbed me while one of them brought out what looked like a loaded hypodermic syringe. Everything became blurred until there was blackout.
I could hear male voices in the room upstairs. I had not seen any other face except that of the black woman who sat in the backseat. She stood beside me still unmasked. I was sure she was not local woman; otherwise she would have been masked too. “Relax. Welcome back,” she said.
I had been drugged.  

“Come with me,” she said. I tried to stand but my legs appeared too weak to carry my weight. We were in a lonely prefab building somewhere I could not identify if I were asked to. The large space that looked like a living room had no single furniture except the couch which I lay on.
As we moved up the stairs to a dark area where I could not identify the faces of four men –probably those who had drugged me– I could count all the things which were missing, had the building been my father’s house. It was empty of essential property.
The lamps went on and then I could see. I was served a delicacy which I had not eaten before because eating it regularly at home would put us above our financial capacity.
“What do these people want from me?” I thought as I was compelled to eat a meal which I pretended not to like. I had barely taken the red wine kept before me when I was told the business of the day. “Mr Lawson, we would like you to cooperate with us so that we all would be happy,” one of the men said. I had looked around and wondered if my friend –Lawson– was also taken hostage.

“We shall call your father and you are to tell him to drop twenty million Naira in cash at a location which we shall tell you,” another added. I had just realized that I had been kidnapped in error. I responded accordingly because I knew they would not believe me if I told them I was not Lawson.
They had confiscated my cell phone and retrieved my dad’s phone number.
 “Hello Sir, your son is in our custody and you would need to get us the sum of twenty million as ransom,” the thickest of the men said over the phone. The voice on the other side was my dad’s. He never panicked so easily. “Which of my sons?” asked my dad. “Lawson,” the man replied. “Lawson?” my dad asked. They handed me the phone to speak to him, to prove to him that I was held hostage.
Having listened to our discussion, they needed no soothsayer to tell them that I was not Lawson and my dad was not a multimillionaire like Lawson’s father. Lawson’s father owned a conglomerate. Mine did not.
I was beaten for wasting food and drink meant for genuine victims. “But that should have been part of their contingency budget,” I thought.
Opening my eyes, I could only see the dim sky. The next was the parish gate at St Patrick’s. “Where am I?” I thought out loud as though talking to a ghost onlooker. I lifted my head, twisted my wrist to find out what time it was but my wrist watch was gone. Lawson’s jeep was also gone.  “Lawson will not believe my story; no one will,” I lamented. I had gone to the meeting in Lawson’s jeep because my car broke down the previous day.
The state had elected a new governor just months ago. His Excellency had promised to improve security and power in the state, waging war against kidnapping and demolishing structures in which they operated.
Lawson’s jeep had been found among the vehicles recovered by the police. My story was true after all; I was kidnapped in error.


02 January 2015 

The recent spate of kidnapping is not in line with the nation's campaign for change. Corruption has metamorphosed into a lot of despicable activities; activities which have eroded and have kept eroding the values of a developing nation.

Shall we please pray that potential victims of kidnapping keep being absent on the scene like Lawson, while those who may be of no use to the kidnappers keep getting the treat  just like the Narrator of this piece.

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