ON September 29, Margaret Emefiele, wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin, was kidnapped on the Benin-Agbor Road. One day after, however, she was free, the fastest rescue of a kidnap victim ever. About a week later, nine suspects were arrested and some N15m ransom money recovered from them. The police confirmed the huge sum was a bait. But when they addressed the press on October 9, the police made no reference to any group or person who contributed to the rescue efforts. They basked in the glory alone.
Apparently after waiting for weeks to be acknowledged for the role they claimed to have played in the swift rescue, a vigilance group in the Emuhun community of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, where the rescue took place, has spilled the beans. They were the ones who carried out the rescue, they claimed, and arrested two of the suspects whom they handed over to the police. They added that sadly one of the vigilance members, Gabriel Okorare, 64, was shot dead by the kidnappers and his family abandoned and in want.
The police will of course need to clear the air. If the account of the vigilance group is true, it will be hard to understand why the police were eager to mislead the country over the role they played in the rescue. If they find it hard to appropriately celebrate the vigilance group’s bravery, how can they be trusted to champion efforts to reward them, let alone rehabilitate the bereaved family? The Nation