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

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.


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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


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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?

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