• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Lion King, smaller animals and the Nigerian slave trade

Lion King, smaller animals and the Nigerian slave trade

I was immobile when the true story was being told, frozen to my bones. I concentrated on a lazy fly too fat to move as it sluggishly crawled across the floor. I could not look at him lest I burst into tears, but my heart was beating at twice its speed.

A story too bizarre, too grotesque to have been true. He spoke slowly and when done, he dead-panned. Horrors deaden the flesh and when we retell it often enough, it begins to sound like someone else’s tale, far away, far removed from us. The stories are told as if they never happened. Psychologically, it is dissonance, a coping mechanism. To tell it each time with the initial emotion that is raw and urgent will certainly kill the story bearer.

We live in difficult times. Our thoughts and our feelings bizarrely numbed until a new and twisted story replaces the familiar. We live in dangerous times where our traders are the ones with whom we eat suya and celebrate our small wins with. We live in dire times… our children’s kidnappers are the ones we asked to mind them and our murderers laugh and eat with us. These have to be end times else how do you explain that your sister killed your children and your brother is the armed robbers’ informant or the children you taught top-notch values are stealing you blind and plotting your disappearance.

So, there you have it. We are at war and yet we are not even at war. Everyone is working around with an anger quotient, including the man carrying a gun paid to protect us

And so this poor man, relation of a kidnap saga, tells his out-of-body tale. The fly sensing dire news suddenly mimics my state of mind and freezes in time. I now have nothing to distract me so I stare hard at the table on which we sat… the brown of the wood serving as the canyon between us. My brother’s wife, he continued, was kidnapped with their children… news alert 101. It’s bad enough, then the story turned on its axis and dealt me an emotional and let’s be honest, a physical blow. When a story shakes your insides and then proceeds to physically drain you… it’s both emotional and physical. Sometimes you can actually feel the earth move. And so they returned the children and killed my brother’s wife… I was silent for the most part.

They had killed her in such a terrible way that it totally destabilised my brother. There were plans for abuse and she had said, no. The last bits of the story trailed off and the fly began to move. I was literally glued to my chair. How does the ear adjust to bad news? I was truly bummed. So, who are these people who unhinged humanity, acquired a taste for blood and moved on like they swatted a fly? Blood for breakfast, toddlers for lunch and an appetite for rape, meanness, mangled bones and set skills for murder?

As it would seem to me, they live among us. The reason they do it is for vulgar acquisition, living large, luxury and to intimidate lower animals. So, there you have it. We are at war and yet we are not even at war. Everyone is working around with an anger quotient, including the man carrying a gun paid to protect us. The question must always be… how did he/she wake up and how was he/she recruited. But now we return to kidnapping and its ancillary jobs… banditry, cow rustling, community attacks. It is a sad sad story. As we ruminate about who our kidnappers are … Enter Mr Lion King…

So millionaire suspected kidnapper, John Ewa, popularly known as John Lyons, and using Lion interiors as a front is now seen in his pink shorts confessing to only two kidnaps. But those who knew him knew him as a hard-working guy. Always supportive, chewing girls like chewing sticks and clubbing like there is no tomorrow. This is the man in pink shorts. We do not even know our neighbours. Evil has dealt us all a deadly blow. When he was spending, we all wanted to be like him. While at it he could have been angry that a kidnapped victim, someone’s wife or daughter failed to give him some… you know what happens to such women.

Across the country in kidnappers’ dens, what is Lion King melting out to vulnerable women and girls? It’s best imagined. You are doomed if you say, yes… doomed if you say, no. Lesser animals in the animal kingdom are not safe. Just going about one’s duty can cost a life. People are being spied on so they can become targets. Family members are involved… we have become hunters… there is no shame and no fear of God.

Read also: The burgeoning kidnapping industry

If we can live like the Lion why live like a mouse. Champagne, houses… more champagne and cheap girls in sick red lipsticks and nylon pants. They too consider themselves lions where well-behaved girls are mice. Give it to the highest bidder. How he made his money is irrelevant. Booze, drugs, girls… the life… and so the day of the Lion was up and in pink knickers he started to sing. He even has a regular life. His wife has had a baby… really?

Then I turn and I am finally able to move just when the fly freezes again…

My brother… my condolences…the words stick to my palate…on your brother’s wife…she died a hero… stood for her beliefs, full of integrity. But it does not make it go away… the screams…the blood curdling shrills of a woman dying at the hand of kidnappers… could have been anyone. He sighs… but this will never go away. Wounded we trudge on as citizens and depression and anxiety become our twin companions.

So, I am happy to be a mouse, to be a pushy cat or a puppy. I do not look at other people to see how their lives are. I am concerned that the Lion has been given a bad name by Mr Lyon furniture’s alleged to be a bloody kidnapper. Even though a lion is a carnivore, at least, it has courage, integrity, and organisational skills. Mr Lion King kidnapper in a pink knickers – what do you have? Your life of luxury has come to an end. Never ever envy another. He may be living large as a result of another.

Let me be a pushy cat. It is okay. At least, I am not wearing pink knickers paraded by policemen.

The man telling the story is still recovering from his brother’s wife’s murder at the hands of kidnappers. One move of my hand and the fat fly takes flight.