“With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in parts of the country, again, this is not entirely new. In fact, some of the kidnapping stories you read or listen to are simply not true anywhere, some are fuelled by politics”.– Vice president Yemi Osibanjo, at a town hall meeting with Nigeria’s diaspora in New York.
News came, Friday, that 5 pastors of Nigeria’s mega church, RCCG, were kidnapped. The story broke via an announcement by the head of the church, Enoch Adeboye. This is huge money for those behind it . But the leaning of the abduction is tellingly expository of statements and silence about kidnapping by Yemi Osibanjo, who is a “senior pastor ” in the church. It also calls into sharp focus Mr Adeboye’s refusal to acknowledge nor condemn kidnappings and allied crimes in Nigeria. Until yesterday.
According to reports by Nigeria’s Vanguard,
They were kidnapped along the Ijebu-Ode axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, made the development known on Friday while giving a talk at the Redeemed Camp.
According to him, the ministers were kidnapped while they were attending RCCGs Ministers’ Conference in Lagos
Pastor Adeboye who said he was not happy over the development however urged his congregation to pray for the release of the pastors
According to him, “As a father, how do you think I should feel to hear that five of my children have been kidnapped while on their way to attend the Ministers Conference?”
Those who have taken a dislike to Mr Adegboye because of his relationship with Mohammadu Buhari are kinda having a sense of Poetic justice. That in a way, it was about time that he felt what the rest of Nigerians and foreigners have been living through.
They also think that in asking how he should feel, that he’s acting hypocritical. Last month, celebrities went to his sprawling empire to ask him, among others: ” If Leah Sharibu was your own biological daughter, would you have kept quite”? The response was tear gas canisters . Those demonstrators were called names. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a very political group, came to his defence.
“Being quiet doesn’t mean I am silent. I let the relevant authorities, CAN speak” Then why did Mr Adegboye speak yesterday? Because the victims are his “sons “. And taking together with Charlie Boy’s question about Leah Sharibu, what does that make the mega pastor?
Nigeria’s social media is already abuzz: “Why are five pastors more important that the life of Leah Sharibu and Eunice who have been killed because they were Christians”? Some ask. “Why is the man feeling bad now”?
Somewhere in all this, Nigeria’s vice president feels the hopelessness more. In New York ,he said that Nigeria’s social media over hypes everything. He in fact told Nigerians abroad to ingore the anguished people of Nigeria . But soon, he would eat his word when in Akure ( Remember Funke Fasoranti?) he said, “These killings and kidnappings are getting out of hand”.
He still didn’t condemn those behind it. Now, he would be scared shitless to say that Fulani herdsmen were involved (if they were). Nigeria’s South West, Mr Osibanjo’s home, already blame him for allowing Fulani herdsmen to take very deep roots in the regions. Because of power and money,they say.
A curious twist in the tableau is that some say that the Vice President should have been the target. Why? Just so the world will know how much of a liar he is. Speaking of lying, a Former US Deputy of defence has described Mr Osibanjo as a man who “lies shamelessly “.
Some interesting scenarios are going to play out. The Government is involved in this. Senator Remi Tinubu, Mr Bola Tinubu’s wife, is also a pastor in the church. Now what doesn it mean? Big fish: They will start with a few billions. Then the police will announce the “arrest” of one or two of the “kidnappers ” while the pastors are still captives. More negotiations will take place and a huge sum will exchange hands. The pastors go home and the kidnappers get rich.
But the story won t close. Soon, statements will come out that no ransom was paid. A few men will be shown to the public as the kidnappers. It’s an organised crime .
Oh, before then, or even as I write , a story will fly that the opposition organized the kidnapping to “discredit the Vice President “. I already hear that “one of the kidnappers has been arrested and making statements “. It’s Mass Communication but Nigeria’s Masses don’t know this.
Last month, two members of the church were kidnapped on the Benin-Ore freeway. It didn’t make the news because they were not pastors.
This latest kidnapping has again shown that “the cutlass of security has been taken from Buhari by madmen ” ,to quote Olusegun Obasanjo, somewhat. This government will need help. And the time is now. It is no longer safe to lie. It is also about time Mr Osibanjo refrains from his lying lectures and try to govern. If they can!
Who knows: As success begets success, the next target might not be pastors.