Sunday, July 18, 2010

M’God! They Have Kidnapped the President!

“At the rate things are going on today, we may all wake up tomorrow to discover that the country, itself, has been kidnapped!”

Gentlemen of the Press, it is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of sorrow that I announce the sudden kidnap of Mr President in the early hours of today. Eye-witness accounts reveal that His Excellency was waylaid between the mosque and the villa shortly after performing his early morning prayer. We learnt that his ADC and personal physician were also abducted by the dare-devil gunmen believed to be “next door” criminals and not the ultra-fearsome Niger-Benue Confluence militants opposed to the dredging of the River Niger. Immediately the Zuma Police Command was informed of this criminal act, we swung into action. Our men have been posted to all the nooks and crannies of Zuma to cordon off the getaway routes of the suicide kidnappers. Our men have also been posted to rooftops and treetops, armed with binoculars, telescopes and night goggles with which to locate the kidnappers and their hideouts. So far our efforts have started to yield apples, mangoes and oranges. In the last couple of hours, for instance, we have been able to establish contact with the kidnappers and I am happy to inform you that the President is hale and hearty. However, the kidnappers' demands are too many and outrageous. They want the government to deposit 100,000 megawatts of electricity at the NEPA Headquarters within the next two days. Haba! They also want billions of drums of drinking water to be fetched and deposited in all the hospitals in major towns and cities in the country. In addition to that, they are demanding that the government must dig millions of boreholes in all villages and other rural communities in the federation. They did not stop there. They are also demanding that the First Lady should surrender all the money for her Cancer Project to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital where there is an established national centre for cancer research and treatment for proper naira diagnosis and management. They also want 1,000 first-class diagnostic centres and heart institutes built in the country within the next few days before the President can be released. The mother of all demands is the one asking that all corrupt officials in the cabinet be fired with immediate effect, if we want to see the President alive. These Oliver Twists would not just stop asking for more.

Gentlemen of the press, can you see our dilemma now? Yes, the country is rich enough to provide electricity, water, shelter, free health care and free education for all with immediate effect but it cannot afford to fire all corrupt men. Will they not be identified first, arrested, tried and convicted before firing them under Mr. President's rule of law mantra? This is impossible! It is the most wicked and most outrageous demand. I can tell you on authority that the Minister of Injustice and the Anthony General is personally cross with this demand of the godless kidnappers who have kidnapped the most gentle, most God-fearing and most loved leader we have ever had in this most lucky, in fact most luckiest, nation on earth. In fact, if all corrupt men and women were fired to appease the angry gods of the kidnappers, who else would be left to negotiate with them? This is the question we are waiting for them to answer. To us in the Police Force, this is treason through the back door. The kidnappers want to topple a legitimately, democratically elected African government by acts of kidnapping and brigandage, which are prejudicial to good governance and the corporate existence of this God's own, one indivisible country.

For your information, we, the police, are awake and alive to our responsibility of maintaining law and order. No stone will be left unturned in our effort to flush out all kidnappers and would-be abductors of the national will. Let me repeat, for the avoidance of any doubt, that the Niagara Police shall and will not allow kidnappers to dominate our national life and damage our public image as armed robbers, assassins and 419ners have done. No way! We just cannot allow unscrupulous, disgruntled, “unpatriotic saboteurs”(!) to kidnap our destiny before we call them to order.

In view of the above, the Niagara police command has met and decided to take the bull by the horns and strangle it to death through the following steps and action. First, we have sent our men to Israel and Iran to learn how to counter ordinary terror with nuclear terror but, in our own peculiar case, with a human face. Henceforth, policemen are to shoot kidnappers "on sight" and not "at sight" as we used to. Second, we have asked the Accountant-General of the Federation, through the Police Service Commission, to release the sum of $100 billion for us to buy new equipment to combat this new threat to the peace and stability of Zuma Rock Villa. For instance, we need to purchase new surveillance satellites, fighter drones, RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), robots, scud barracks-to-hideouts missiles, and native air-force equipment like AK-47-calibre charms, high grade Otumokpo, et cetera.

I want to assure you all that we are combat ready to face these cowards who kidnap children, women, retired generals, tired permanent secretaries, old local government chairmen, lame leaders and other innocent people for ransom. Let me, at this juncture, further assure all law-abiding citizens that they have nothing to fear. But in case they are kidnapped, they should just remain calm and not struggle with their abductors. The police are always there to rescue you. If you are in doubt, just allow yourself to be kidnapped and see whether we shall rescue you within 24 hours or not. The family of the kidnapped secretary to the state government in Kaduna can attest to that. We are always at your service. We fought house burglars to a standstill and they ran away, only to regroup and rob banks. We fought the Internet robbers hands down and they absconded from cyberspace now to be duping people face-to-face. Now we have fought the kidnappers and chased them to a blind alley only for them to beat a retreat to the inner sanctuary of governance and cause panic in the corridors of power. We shall continue to fight them on land, in the air and even inside water because at the rate things are going on today, we may all wake up tomorrow to discover that the country, itself, has been kidnapped!

Note: This Opilogue was first published in TELL, October, 12, 2009

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