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Friday, June 30, 2017

37 Days after six kids of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe, have gone missing..

Abeg, what the hell is going on in Lagos, the supposed home of excellence?   For 37 days, six kids of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe, have gone missing, snatched from an environment where they had been deposited by their parents. Those who came to steal them served no notice. The tormentors came by boat, and simply disappeared.

They left no trace either. So, we were told. On the treacherous water ways, there are no defined tracks! You can literally paddle your way from the creeks of Ebute Ero in Lagos to Igbokoda in Ondo without being told, park there.  No cheque points with gaunt-looking policemen demanding roger. It’s easy to get lost. Our kids are probably nestling in the swamps, lost in the wicked arms of marauders who have seized them for ransom.

By the 36th day, unconfirmed reports said the baby thieves had pocketed about N10 million, with anguished parents struggling to assemble another N285,000 to free their kids from the den of robbers. At times like this, you don’t know who to believe. Is it actually true that such huge sum was paid? By whom? To whom? How?  The answers may be blowing in the wind but one thing is certain. The boys from Igbonla committed no crime. The only offense that earned them a risky over-night trip to their present detention camp is that they dared to quench the universal hunger for knowledge. They, in obedience to parental care, chose to conquer their environment by investing in their future. They chose to bury themselves in rewarding studies and not in the infected swamps of God-knows-where.

Yes, it’s been 37 days, 17 days short of the 54 days President Buhari has been in Oyinbo country, with his official aircraft sleeping idly by the door-step and accruing millions of Naira in tax payers money. Sadly, the heroes of Igbonla will have no sophisticated machines waiting to take them home after a most traumatic experience in the cursed bosom of some wild human beasts. Their return trip, if they come out alive, could be a rough journey in a wooden raft  driven by red-eyed idiots from hell.
Unlike Mr President, there is absolutely nothing prestigious about their travails. They would be unsung on return, with no protocols and formalities. Indeed, they would be lucky to be dumped in the middle of no where, left to painfully seek their ways home. They would be welcomed by parents  literarily torn by weeks of anguish and drenched in bitters tears of agony. The kidnapped Lagos kids are a sad reminder of the Chibok girls saga that has drawn even far more tears from across the globe. Like the girls, will the Chibok boys of Igbonla be turned into pawns in a vicious power game? I shudder at the thought and this is where the similarity ends.

What has become clear in Lagos is that the police appears lost in the celebration of billionaire kidnapper, Evans Onwumadike, such that the case of the boys from Igbonla now seems a distraction. Everywhere you turn, you are greeted with sickening hush tones while police operatives jostle for vantage positions as cameramen click away noisily each time Evans made a public appearance. How we love media trial! My heart bleeds at the level of operational efficiency of the Nigerian police, and indeed, our prosecutors. The Chibok boys of Igbonla have become heroes for further exposing the huge skill-gap in the country’s policing system and how vulnerable all of us are. The unwarranted owambe party put together by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and his boys is, to say the least, foolish and uncalled for.
The devils who took away, and are tormenting our children, are watching. They hear about Evans and his family suing the Nigerian State, and believe that he might just get some reprieve because the system is often programmed to fail. Nigeria, led by the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, must ensure that the six boys stolen from the Igbonla cradle return to the safe arms of their parents. The merry-making over Evans must cease now!

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