• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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A child in a rider’s box?

A child in a rider’s box?

The end of the world is nigh or what do you think? Happenings around us in the last decade indicate that there is a slow degeneration of all things good. And now man is man’s greatest enemy. Not lions or snakes, not leopards or bears, we certainly have brought the jungle from the jungle into our homes.

In Nigeria, things have fallen apart so badly that our society is now where new dimensions and family are meaningless. We of the communal spirit, of the extended family. We who just a couple of decades ago were each other’s brothers keepers. It did not matter what faith you professed, we ate together, celebrated together and mourned together.

But what do we see today. Nigeria is on its knees, especially within society. We used to be a destination. Now we are known more for 419, cultism and kidnapping. We sit astride a nation where anything can happen.

I was truly at my wits end when a Lagos-Ibadan train stopped in the middle of nowhere due to lack of diesel. I watched horrified as a drum of diesel was rolled into the place for the journey to continue. I am still trying to piece together what happened.

And now man is man’s greatest enemy. Not lions or snakes, not leopards or bears, we certainly have brought the jungle from the jungle into our homes

But to be honest, the story that takes the cake in the last week or so has to be the one about a child found in a rider’s box… This has to be the end for me. Riders are everywhere these days delivering food, parcels, documents and other related things. How does a rider accept to abduct a child for someone? Is that even a job?

I always tell my Mentees that there are certain jobs I won’t take, it does not matter how much you are going to pay me. If it goes against my values or everything I believe in, then it is a no show. We are in a world today where everything is fair game. Children for sale. Humans kidnapped for sale. Kidnapping as a new business model and fraud for lunch.

We cry foul when we discuss the transatlantic slave trade. But truly when we kidnap each other, what is the difference. My late mum would always say, we all have problems but you should never because of that commit a big sin and bring your fellow man to grievous harm. A lot of these things are so bizarre, it boggle the mind. Family members are now spies for kidnappers.

Read also: How we damage Nigerian children for the culture

You dare not tell a cousin or even sibling or your child that you cannot afford something. They get you kidnapped and get the money by other means. Sometimes, the kidnapped family member is killed by the abductors even after the ransom has been paid.

Many family members have been thrown into grief as a result of this new trend. In addition, victims, once released, are never the same. The trauma is best imagined. Depression and anxiety set in for fragile persons who are just managing themselves.

The other day my parish priest, Father Ejim, in a Catholic talk in church was talking about how enjoyment of the world never satisfies. How you are insatiable as a human being. So, after the next big car what next? So, you have built a house, what next?

Another priest described happiness as temporary. You made some money or bought a car. You made love or even engaged in fornication. After a couple of days you are looking for the next excitement.

He says joy is eternal but happiness is temporal. He then urged the congregation to seek things of higher nature, charity, kindness, forgiveness, etc, and a connection to a higher being through faith to attain joy.

So, those seeking money by all means, what is their goal? To attain happiness, cars, houses with the pain, suffering and blood of others. How does this all pan out when they have to give accounts at a higher place? Perhaps this means nothing to them. As long as they can selfishly and wickedly get their temporal happiness now then it’s all good.

What a pity that we of this great community have become these blood-thirsty people. The ultimate is quick money, no matter how and our values of hard work and integrity are thrown out of the window.

So, here we are. Children can no longer go out to play like we used to many years ago. Women are targets and your neighbour could be a kidnapper.

Some of us are die-hard believers in Nigeria. But things have to change all round for a better tomorrow. The rider with a child in a box is no different from someone who steals from government coffers resulting in a road not being built in a rural area. The absence of that road can lead to maternal mortality.

That child in the box could have died, could have been sacrificed. Any death is one too many. We pray. We talk. We jaw.

A child in a rider’s box… Certainly the world is coming to an end!