by Richard Odilu
“Pls let us join voices tonight to pray & lift our voices to God about the disappearance of Enioluwa Odegbaike who has been missing since last Sunday…” This was the cry for help – solidarity, if you may – that went round in BlackBerry community a few days ago.
In its wake followed the details, which revealed that this was another story of hostage-taking: “… A 10-months old baby was kidnapped in an estate on Saturday morning 6.45 am by their 2-weeks old nanny, right under the parent’s nose. Very well behaved lady indeed, named Victoria. This family had been married for 6 years and this happens to be their first. As special as this baby is, the mum and dad are usually always around or at least a relative, the nanny does not go out with him alone, even within the compound. But she still succeeded in kidnapping this baby…the question is how??”
Our source revealed that on the day the baby was kidnapped, his mother had gone for a bath, and without suspicions, had handed her baby to the nanny to mind. Little did she know that the next time she would be speaking to their nanny about their baby three hours would have passed, and the nanny would be as far off as the Seme border (boundary between Lagos and Benin Republic).
According to reports, the family of the child was contacted with about twenty different phone numbers in the spate of six days from an unknown location in Cameroun. The kidnapper is yet to give a figure for the ransom, because the infant underwent surgery shortly before the incident and has not fully healed.
YNaija contacted several members of the family who declined to comment on Enioluwa’s kidnapping. Finally a member of the Odegbaike family – an aunt, who requested that her name be concealed – was willing to speak briefly. According to her “the family is badly shaken by all this…If anything comes up, we will let you know.”
The illegal act of kidnapping gained notoriety a few years ago, with the Niger-Deltan militants using it as a tool to gain the goverment’s attention. Things have clearly degenerated, as common place criminals now prey on anyone who is capable of providing a ransom. Many have argued that this has been fuelled by corruption, unemployment, and chiefly greed, as situations where a close relative was an accomplice have been seen.
Baby Enioluwa’s recent kidnap adds to the growing list which shows a re-focus of these criminals on little children. Late last year, Sharon Omolayo was kidnapped by a long time family aide, and before that the news was bombarded with the story of the group of children in Abia state who were held hostage in a school bus.
It’s our hope and prayer that the kidnapper will return the fragile and defenseless Enioluwa to the family of Mr and Mrs Odegbaike, and that for the criminals, justice will serve its full course.
Below is a picture of the nanny. If you find see her or have any useful information, please contact the nearest police station or call 07085534788.