SIR: A plethora of gut-wrenching tales of kidnapping abound. Victim’s in recent times have included the Head of Service of Edo State, Anthony Okungbowa; Prof Waziri Edokpa, chairman Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State and Israel Inyanabor, a Councillor representing Ward 1 in Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State.
For every politically exposed person whose kidnapping has been widely reported in the media, there are hundreds of everyday, regular Edo citizens who have been perilously caught up in the evil vortex of kidnappers. Albeit, kidnapped survivors, Paul Aluola, a schoolteacher at Iruwa Primary School, Ohordua and his wife, a petty trader at Ewatto in Esan South East Local Government of Edo State lived to tell their tales of woe, numerous other tales go unreported in sync with a country that systematically attaches zero dignity to human life and classifies everyday citizens rather absentmindedly as nameless citizens.
Encumbered by a junta inspired constitution that is at the very least untenable to the realities of Nigeria – the assignation of governor’s as chief security officers of their state’s is an absurd constitutional contradiction. Armed with only just the wordings on a document, for in truth they are “almost” as powerless as everyone of their state citizens – governors have had to again and again invoke the “wordings”, much like illusionists, hoping to conjure up powers of awe and coercion in fulfilling their roles as chief security officers. The potency or otherwise of “almost” that differentiates governors from hopeless and helpless citizens depends on their ability as conjuring illusionists. Such is the debacle of our constitution!
The murderous, rapacious, unremitting daily kidnapping attacks on petrified, helpless citizens in Edo State who are either killed or held captive in forests for massive ransoms is ramping up by the day, seemingly fuelled by emboldened marauders who sense no one is in a hurry to put a stop to their reign of terror. What is more galling, is the fate of impoverished, downtrodden citizens who get ensnared in these random kidnapping binges and are obviously unable to afford the humongous ransoms these daredevils are demanding.
Hopelessly grappling with widespread incessant armed robberies and cult related violence already robbing the people of peace – endemic kidnapping cannot be added to the woes of helpless Edolites. Elders and all well-meaning Edo citizens must act in synergy devoid of considerations of political or other affiliations. I call on the revered liege lord of all Edo people, Oba Ewuare II N’Ogidigan( Oba ghato kpere, ise! ) to once again be a beacon to his people and lead in bringing peace and security to his realm. A general call to duty must be answered to lift this abominable kidnapping siege occasioning daily existential threat to life, limb and livelihood of the Edo people.
Governor Godwin Obaseki must act. Like Akeredolu, his mandate by the people is refreshingly fresh to be emboldening and he must act to restore the peace no matter whose cup of tea he spills over. The silence of the graveyard best describes Edo State once day turns to night.
The heartbeat of the state must be restored day and night. Governor Obaseki must employ all mechanisms at his disposal to fight this war against kidnappers and insecurity. He must lead an unprecedented, ingenious onslaught to rid Edo of this burgeoning kidnapping plague.
Edo must “wake and see” he is leading – lest in the vacuum, lamentably an Edo Igboho arises!
Victor Ikhatalor, email@example.com
Source: The Nation