For the first time since i returned to Nigeria, i went to the village. It was a 10 minute drive through the Enugu – PH highway.
The Police captain had requested that i get him a picture of the missing guy. It was very disturbing that they didn’t have it yet. They didn’t know who they were searching for.
The request had come up because while i was at the police station, the Police man had taken me behind his office where some three suspects where kept. He told me they were suspected kidnappers abducted by the Police earlier that morning in Abakiliki Ebonyi State.
I had proceeded to ask those suspects if they knew or had a hand in the abduction of my elder brother. They didn’t say anything, they just ignored me. I had quickly felt that if i had a picture of him in hand, it might have triggered some kind of reaction from any of them if they were the gang that abducted him.
As a result, i had asked the Police Officer to get the picture in their case file but surprisingly, they didn’t have one. That was when he asked that i get him one of his pictures.
The Police Captain had also called the wife of the missing man and asked her to come to the Police Station the following morning. She was needed there because, it was her that the kidnappers contacted during price negotiations. It was her that sent the Ransom to them in Asaba. It was surprising that she haven’t made any report to any authorities since then. The entire set up was becoming more like a conspiracy. Someone who knew that my elder brother was visiting the site that morning definitely had a hand in his abduction.
Kidnappers were not regular people who walked around everywhere looking for victims. They usually target the victim, corner him or her somewhere before abduction.
And somehow, there were only four known people who knew that my brother would visit his site that morning.
Top on the List was the Contractor handling the project. He was from our town and has been handling our building projects. He was considered a family friend because he incidentally, was the Father of the same Ify that was found for me to marry when i return to Nigeria. Yes, you heard me right, it was his father.
A lot of things were mixing up in my mind and it would take an extra ordinary strength to keep my sanity. It was difficult to know who to trust.
Second on the list was of course, his wife. She knew where he was going that morning.
Then there was his friend from Ekwulobia in Anambra State. I knew him myself when i was part of the trading process in Onitsha. He was the person who actually drove to Enugu with my elder brother that morning. But somehow, when they got to the hotel where they wanted to lodge, My brother told his friend that he was going for inspection at the site. Then he got missing since then, so his Friend was the third person who knew where my brother was at the time he was abducted.
Then his caretaker at the site, a young man of about 20 who was from my extended family. It was him who was approached by the arrested suspect when he came to enquire about the owner of the site. It was him who also told the Police that the suspect came to ask for my brother on many occasions. He was the link to the arrested suspect.
These four people mentioned above were the people who knew exactly where my elder brother was at the time he was abducted.
If i were a Police officer, i would have simply invited this four people for interrogation but like every other black thing around this dark planet, the Cops arrested only one of them who happened to be a criminal. But the truth was that the others were supposed to make statements too. One never know where a genuine information could emerge from.
Even if the suspect in custody had a hand in the kidnapping, he must be working with some other informants. This was part of the work i thought the Police would have done.
Our system was still in the dark. The only important thing in the minds of public servants was how to steal money. In Africa, life was still about survival and competition.
The dick measuring attitude was still reigning. Everyone wanted to amass more wealth than the next person. It didn’t matter if someone was going to die or not, it didn’t matter how the wealth came, what mattered was that he or she would be in the sole position to keep the stolen things. And that kept my country in the dark since independent.
Before i left for the village, i called Ify. She had been calling since the day before but i didn’t answer.
“I am going to the village now” I said and waited to hear from her.
I didn’t want to ask if she would go. I already knew she would agree to go. Like every other young girl, she wanted to be side by side with me, to show the world that she had secured me and that every other girl should go and die.
I knew all that but decided to play along anyway.
“I want to go to the village too, come and pick me up” She said.
She was a clever girl and i respected her for that. She new when to bring up a topic and when not to.
I had hoped that she would start asking why i didn’t answer her phone since the day before, that was the line i waited for to be able to cut my call as an excuse. But she didn’t say anything about it she just asked that i picked her up.
I asked where she was and drove there.
Ify and I drove to the village. We went straight to my compound. I wasn’t around when my Father died, therefore as a mark of respect, i asked where he was buried.
At the grave sight, i bowed my head and said some prayers to him, then promised to celebrate him again when i could. I asked him for permission to hold on until i find his first son, i also asked him to help in locating his first son.
Then i walked to my mother and requested for a picture of the missing guy.
She gave me one and gave us food to eat as well. She knew Ify, she had heard about the plans but she also knew me very well and knew that i was still following the script just to keep the noises down.
Welcome to 2015. Running continues.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com