Friday, 20 January 2017

Nwosu: Mirror of the national condition By Louis Odion, FNGE

By on 03:01
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Steve & Toyin Nwosu....What a mystery of life. Why the kidnapping cycle?

He may not be a card-carrying member of any political party, but Steve Nwosu would certainly qualify to be called the dream citizen Nigeria could wish for.
Though of Igbo parentage (Imo State), he grew up and schooled in Ilorin, Kwara State in North-Central. Perhaps the reason his Yoruba is as - if not more - fluent than his native Igbo language.

Upon graduation from the university, he settled in South-West city of Lagos.
With his good grade, he could have easily secured a better-paying job in the banking world or the oil and gas industry. But because of his love of country and passion for social justice, he chose journalism. He started from the bottom of the ladder in the newsroom.
The Nwosus with friends
Regardless of countless tempting offers of political appointments, he never looked back.
By sheer hard work and dedication, he rose through the rank at The Guardian to becoming editor in Thisday, Sun and now Deputy Managing Director at The Sun in a career spanning over two decades.
Breaking the age-old ethnic barrier, he would go outside his village to find love and marry a Yoruba lady - Toyin. Both are raising kids with dual heritage - Igbo and Yoruba.
Author Louis Odion....Symphatizes with a colleague
But last weekend, Steve again found himself in circumstances certain to test the faith of even the staunchest believer. A call came that gunmen had kidnapped his second daughter attending the Nigerian-Turkish College in Ogun State, alongside seven others.
It did not take long before the sons of dog made contact demanding a whopping N600m ransom for six of their victims who are Nigerians and N600m for the other two who are Turkish nationals.
Turkish President Rita Edogan
Incidentally, two years ago, Steve, "a poor journalist" as he likes to call himself, had found himself in similar soul-wrenching condition. The family were fast asleep in their Lagos home when heavily armed beasts barged in and, on top of stripping the household bare of all valuables they could find, whisked Toyin away as hostage to further squeeze ransom from the traumatized husband.
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

During that horrible hour, not only the serenity of their homestead was violated; imagine the plight of little kids rudely roused from sleep by the grating voices of thugs in the house, now left to endure for the rest of their innocent lives the bitter memory of that nightmare.
Three years before Toyin's abduction in 2015, Steve yet suffered a brutal encounter with armed robbers on motorbike in Lagos busy traffic under the shadowless glare of daylight. He just made a little cash withdrawal to sustain his family for the weekend when the hoodlums who apparently had been trailing him, pounced on him in the gridlock.
Steve Nwosu with Chief Bisi Olatilo at a Social Outing
So heartless, they were not content with snatching only the little cash; one of the assailants then pulled the trigger at his face at a close range.
Miraculously, the bullet failed to snuff life out of Steve. The hot lead grazed his temple, leaving an indelible scar he would carry for the rest of his life.
Now, the abduction of his daughter last weekend!
In a way, the unending travails of the Nwosu family undoubtedly speak to the human condition in contemporary Nigeria: short, nasty and brutish. To say nothing of stray bullets from trigger-happy cops in their ubiquity. Or the near permanent danger of Boko Haram.
But just how much more can a family take?

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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