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Self-kidnapping for easiest profit

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[FILES] Kidnap

The drama began on Saturday evening. Not so evening that you couldn’t recognise your neighbour at a twenty yard distance. The following Sunday was the rehearsal for the harvest for the church.

The reason for the rehearsal was because the Governor was coming to chair the occasion. The deputy Governor would chair the occasion. Everything was ready.

The hymns, the psalms, the sequence of coming to the altar to offer the harvest and be blessed in the name of Jesus.

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Everything must proceed with Rolex watch precision. Then the impossible happened. A message came to the church through the VP, the Vice-Pastor. The Pastor of the Prayer Pardon Possibility International Church of Christ had been kidnapped. “Are you joking or am I deaf?”

Pastor Williams Eniyanku, the first and founding leader of the church is a truly charismatic individual to lọyaya, how do you say that so the Queen of England can understand? He is tall and slender, a real ọpẹlẹngẹ! He has a good word for everyone he meets.

If your face is dark, he lightens it. If you are full of smiles he doubles your joy. You are hungry, he will say he is just getting ready to eat, join him.

You have not had a drop to drink, he will fetch you any drink of your choice. He is the only pastor whose fame is based on what he didn’t do. It was said of him that he could walk on water but would not do it out of deference to Jesus Christ Our Lord. This is the person that the Vice-Pastor is announcing to the emergency congregation has been kidnapped! That is impossible. Of all people? Don’t they know who he is? He will charm all of them, just you wait!

The Vice-Pastor is the very opposite of Pastor Enikanku. Short, fat with Michelin tyre ridges at the back of his head and neck, he had no time for anybody. If you want Jesus not to pass you by you mustn’t slack in your pursuit of salvation. Rather than give he collects. He can get from the proverbial “I-don’t-have”. No lump of stone exists that he can’t squeeze water out of. Both Pastor and Vice-Pastor work together like pounded yam and goat meat egusi soup.

What was to be done? Vice-Pastor John Abramse listened to suggestions. Many people suggested the congregation must pray.

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One after the other suggestions for prayers and more prayers were being suggested until the Vice-Pastor screamed his disagreement and disappointment. “Is it prayer that we will use to pay the ransom?” “But prayer is our sacrifice!” the congregation replied. But now that VP has mentioned ransom, so let’s ransom the Pastor.

The VP grinned and said we must set up a search committee of two men and one woman. He would chair the committee while the woman would be the spokesperson for the committee. The man would be the vice-chairman of the committee to him as chairman. He was tired of being Vice to someone, let one person be vice to him also.

After the committee has been elected there was a one hour prayer led by the chairman of the search committee. He announced that for the period of the absence of Pastor Enikanku, he would be addressed Chairman and the congregation must remember that one person might be dead, there is still one person left behind.

That night, word came that the kidnappers had been touch with the search committee and that they wanted N15m before they can release Pastor Williams Enikanku. That was the exact amount of money the church had in its account. Chairman Abramse said they had agreed to pay the ransom.

The Sunday for the rehearsal of the harvest of harvests turned into a massive prayer meeting for the liberation of their beloved Pastor Enikanku.

The deputy governor whispered that the state government would foot the bill for the ransom. There was a letter from the Executive Governor of the state, which was delivered by the DG. Chairman Abramse read it to himself and grinned.

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The governor included a check for N10m. There was no need over exciting the congregation. After the service of prayers, the service broke up and the next prayer meeting was put to tonight. Negotiations with the kidnappers continued.

There had been far too much horrible stories on Tv, in the newspapers, on online news vendors and in the mass social media. How the kidnappers were from some where in the north and somewhere else outside of the north, coming as far away as the Futa Jallon mountains. They kidnapped everybody. Those who refuse to pay, they hand over to ALAPATA, (the Butcher), those who needed body parts. Their price was a flat half a million naira but the person must be dead. So the kidnappers were always such of that amount if the negotiation failed.

To say that the negotiation was delicate was proclaiming the obvious. Will the negotiator on behalf of the kidnapped person pad the ransom sum of money and short change the kidnappers? Will the person or persons receiving the money on behalf of the kidnappers deliver all the money so the person kidnapped could be released?

It was the older policeman who first noticed. He didn’t understand what it meant initially. What he noticed was that the cell phone number that called the police to report the kidnap of the Pastor was also the same cell phone number that was negotiating the ransom for the kidnappers. He found the cell phone company that owned the SIM card.

Security went to the cell phone company and the name in which the SIM card was registered was revealed.

Once the name was revealed, the rest was easy. Usually, the older policeman was telling his younger colleague, kidnappers avoid using registered SIM cards to ensure that their calls cannot be traced. They bought hundreds of SIM cards and use one at a time before thrashing it.

The older policeman found a double cab Toyota Hilux and put four police men armed with AK47 Kalashnikovs inside and drove into the night.

At the location of the call, the policeman knocked. The door open slowly but the police kicked it in and said: Pastor Enikanku, you are under arrest for kidnapping your self and demanding ransom. Put out you hands. Handcuffed he was put at the back of the hilux guarded by two of the armed policemen.
bankole.omotoso@elizadeuniversity.edu.ng


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