Chudi Nwike and the New Face of Kidnapping

Chibueze Agwagom
Chibueze Agwagom

In any society where crime is not visited by punishment, where performance is not rewarded, you get the kind of decay that we have today. This country faces sure death without ethical benchmarks

…John Odigie Oyegun

Dasuki
Dasuki

WHEN the whip is on another person’s shoulder, some don’t feel it much. When sorrows befall others, it becomes the pastime of the uninformed to make a mockery of it. Kidnapping is the official employment of many today and the duty of some misinformed and gullible folks is to justify it. In the past, the belief of most people was  that the easiest  way to make money was to either work in an oil company or to join a political party in power. Today, kidnappers have joined the league of money merchants. They even preach the philosophy that armed robbery is hard labour and that kidnapping is the easiest way to make it cheap and cool. They say that all you need is to have or to build kidnapping structure and every other thing is simple arithmetic.

Nigeria appears to be the most fertile ground for kidnapping because our security network is either supportive or incompetent. The varied degrees of fraud that flow from various governmental institutions point to the fact that what we sowed is what we are reaping.

Kidnapped victim
Kidnapped victim

On March 19, 2013, news filtered in that Dr. Chudi Nwike, a one time Deputy Governor of Anambra State in the early 90s during the brief tenure of Pius Ezeife, has been kidnapped. The kidnappers demanded thirty million naira. Incidentally, the junior brother of  Nwike, Bufo Nwike, who was in the country during this sad incident did the negotiation with the agents of darkness. Later, they agreed to have Nwike released for five million naira.

The new face of this unfortunate kidnap case is that the kidnappers demanded that the person to bring the money must be Bufo, or the wife of  Nwike. but later they agreed to accept the money from any other person. The money was delivered to them and they seized the person that delivered the money killed him. Immediately they collected the money, they cut-off all communication with the Nwike family. The next thing was that the dead body of Nwike was found at Agbo in Delta State. What a tragic new face of kidnapping? The brutes collected the blood ransom and murdered their innocent victim. This dirty killing of Nwike demeans our Nigerian society; it ridicules the leadership institution of our Nigeria which has degenerated to the level of mere position not action; it reduces our collective humanity; it makes a mess of  our security system and portrays us as a society of cannibals and vacuous vandals; it cheapens human life as well as raises the question: What is the worth of human life in our Nigeria?

Security issues do not disturb our government much. What disturbs the architects of our government is the next election. It is terrible that responsible members of the society are being murdered like common criminals and yet there are people voted into power to protect the lives and security of the people. When I imagine the corrupt mindset of our security personnel who are more interested on how to corruptly enrich themselves via criminal ventures than combating crime, it becomes clearer why anarchy has become a feast in our society.

The various crops of evils traumatising our society today did not just start magically over- night. They had their foundations. They were nurtured and fertilised to their present industrialised status. They are products of unbridled corruption, injustice and poor leadership. We are in a society where desperate politicians arm touts to serve them as political thugs and after elections, they abandon them and by this time,  the thugs have grown powerful with their arms to the extent that they operate as licensed criminals who perpetrate their chosen crimes without mercy. It is the same thing with the faceless and ideologically polluted Boko Haram. Today our confused and unserious government is talking about amnesty for Boko Haram without thinking of compensating those who have been tormented and ruined by the activities of Boko Haram.

Amnesty makes no sense to Boko Haram. They have ideological tenents. Government should work for justice a country that is not proactive in crime control efforts is bound to be scandalized by crime. It is not in doubt that some parents, communities as well as security operatives celebrate and honour kidnappers who have made it. They call kidnappers people boiling in soup. This is another way of saying that kidnappers are people whose money boils. From our seat of government at Aso Rock, corruption is manifestly encouraged and criminality flows. President Jonathan not long ago pardoned Alamieyeiseigha, his mentor who is still being hunted by the United States of America and Britain for criminal allegations. Crime has been reduced to a laughing stock in our country where one man’s criminal is another man’s hero. With Aso Rock paying lip service to issues of corruption and criminality, it becomes clear that sophisticated crimes is being promoted while our legal framework is abused without scruples. Indeed it is our government  that needs amnesty for brutal abuse of its mandate.

Anambra State is one of the states in Nigeria where kidnapping has become a very lucrative business venture. Peter Obi, the governor of the State, with the cooperation of the House of Assembly took a bold step after years of docility to confront the hazards of kidnapping in the state. A law was enacted to empower the State to prosecute kidnappers and confiscate or destroy the wealth they acquired  through kidnapping. The state government took a bold step in dealing with some of the identified kidnappers and the evil subsided a bit. The government soft pedalled on its on slaught against kidnappers, due majorly, to its concentration in the next election hence, kidnapping has resurfaced again in multiplier dimensions and Chudi Nwike happens to be one of the victims of this new face of kidnapping in which the kidnappers collected blood money, killed their victim and also killed the man that brought the money and the driver he hired to drive him to the den of the kidnappers. Nigeria we hail thee!!!

— Apr. 29, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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