This is a true life story but names are not true for security reasons. Suzan Shiroro was traveling from Kaduna enroute the Kaduna – Abuja high way. She was in company of other travelers enjoying their gossips and women talks amidst other ladies in their vehicle.
A lady, who refused to talk to anyone was asked why she decided to keep to herself and another lady said she must be an SU sister not willing to mix with sinners. After much pestering, the lady opened up saying: “I am not a SU, I chose to stay alone because this road is a death trap and den of kidnappers. I am always scared anytime I have a cause to travel this route on official duty.”
Then Suzan replied her: “Why should you become so frightened that you cant even cheer up and mix with others? I was even thinking you are a religious fanatic, sister, ‘baa damuwa, komi ba si fadi’ nothing will happen feel free.”
Our vehicle continued on its journey up to a few kilometers to Katari village in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State when suddenly at about at about 3.30pm we heard sporadic gunshots from no particular direction, the sounds came from almost every angle fearfully. The driver of our vehicle quickly applied the brakes on the vehicle and attempted to make a U-Turn but as other motorists had abandoned their vehicles and ran into the bush for cover, we were stocked. Lo and behold we saw five men in Military Uniforms hurrying towards our vehicle. The driver who saw him first screamed as he fled saying: “Ku fara gudu, su na zoa, su mai kama, ga su su na zoa”, start running, see them coming, Kidnappers. As I am a very good sprinter while in school, I jumped over some people and ran as fast as my legs could carry me, to no particular direction. I ran for dear life, just to escape as instructed by our driver. Others who can run too followed suit, but while running, I remembered one of our passengers, a quiet but cheerful young man from Kogi State, I think Kabba side. He stayed back in the vehicle helpless since he cannot run. I guess where he came from by the language he spoke while making a call. He leaps on one leg, I felt sorry for him, but I prayed that God help him as I run for dear life. Not even his family member will dare wait to render any assistance to him.
We ran far away, and placed our self on red alert, afraid that nowhere in the bush was safe and should be ready to run as soon as we sense danger. Sad enough, My I remember that my mum was against my going on the trip, but I insisted on going because I need to meet someone in Minna, Niger State and its very important. I remembered her words and fear gripped me more. I asked myself “If these kidnapers get hold of me, where will my people get the ransom to pay?” It is really a trying time for us in the family.
I saw some guys lie down and covered themselves with leaves; I quickly did same and was watching what they do as protective strategies.
After about an hour in the bush, some guys started to move out of their hiding, I followed them to prevent being caught alone. We got to the main road and saw bodies of people litter the place.
I saw a man, looks like a top government functionary. He had a Police Orderly who fought gallantly but he was shot and he died on the spot. The Oga too was shot along with his driver. Their vehicle, a Jeep with a Kogi registration number, whitish in colour was there too. All we could do it to properly
After about fifteen minutes walk, we got to back to our vehicle and was glad to see the leaping young man, unhurt. “What happened, hope they didn’t hurt you?” was my first curious question to him. He too never believed that he was alive until he saw us again.
The young man explained his ordeals: “These kidnappers are Fulani people, but probably non-Nigerians. I hear them speak Fulfulde and related Fulani languages but I doubt if they are Nigerians. Their weapons are very sophisticated. They wore the soldier’s uniform. They kicked me and asked why I didn’t run and I explained to them that I am a beggar, so I couldn’t run with one leg. I spoke to them in Hausa and one of them who spoke in a kind of massacred English asked if I am also Almajiri and I relied upon yes.”
It was worse than watching a movie, live encounter with kidnappers. Aside the dictionary meaning, I didn’t ever understand all the stories around Evans and his kidnap exploits. Under my eyes, I saw about five people whisked away into the bush by those filthy kidnappers.
Our driver hurriedly sped off the scene as soon as he got the space and I began to wonder and ponder on many things. The Vehicles used by those criminals are brand new Hilux Jeep and Pick up with registration numbers on them. Aside from that, we heard that our Air Force is complimenting the work of the Police and Soldiers to fight this kidnapping menace. The Guns that they used and how they got their funding. I see all as calling for questions over their source of funding, their hideouts and reasons for their actions.
I then arrive at the conclusion that these criminals have powerful sponsors inside of government and that they are so powerful amen in power, who cannot be easily tracked down and if tracked down will not be easy to prosecute, especially in a country as this where some people are more powerful than the law of the land.
This was how Boko Haram thrives and we have claims and counterclaims between Political gladiator over who is behind the menace and is gradually becoming a crisis of assuming an international dimension. As to those who are doing business with human live should desist before the long arm of God and the law catches up with them.
God bless Nigeria