WILL PEACE NOW RETURN TO ABA?
Perhaps, the Abia State Government and security operatives have finally made up their minds to restore sanity in Aba, the commercial city that lately lost its soul to kidnapping and gruesome violence.
The current search for Osisi ka Nkwu, the alleged kingpin of dastardly acts in the Aba and environs is a clear indication that the end has finally come for the men of violence.
The kingpin had in the past allegedly carried himself like a mafia boss who was untouchable. His name readily came up into discussions and he became a cult figure whose name imbues fear. Reports say he bragged about his closeness to people in high places, which was why no one had the temerity to arrest him.
When some apparently uninformed operatives picked him up and allegedly sent him to Zone nine police headquarters in Umuahia, he walked away within 48 hours. To drive home his liberty the dreaded suspected kingpin was sited at a social function the following weekend. The spate of ungodly activities of hoodlums in Aba and gruesome waste of human lives gave the otherwise peaceful but highly commercial centre, a bad name.
Aba lost its status as the Japan of Africa. Not with bandits commanding grown up male children to sleep with their mothers. An incident in question where one of two children of the same mother stoutly refused the forcible incest led to his being killed in his mother's presence. The poor woman dragged her second son into the act, if only to save his life. The boy slept with his mother but walked away the next morning. No one has seen him ever since.
Scores of medical doctors, lawyers and all kinds of people have been abducted and taken to the kidnappers den in the thick forests of Obehie , Ukwa, Osisioma, Ntigha Uzo, Abala and several other communities. Engineers from a telecommunications firm lost their lives to the firepower of the deadly boys.
Twice the bad boys (some girls also allegedly belong to the dare devil groups) had overreached themselves. Once they waylaid executives of the Lagos branch of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. There was a national uproar. Lately they abducted 15 school kids. There was international up roar. That was when matters came to a head.
No fewer than 5000 soldiers were sent to the town. They began to bombard the kidnappers' hideout and they seemed to have overpowered the hoodlums, who hitherto boasted about their links in high places.
With Osisi ka Nkwu now a wanted man, their backbone may have been broken. The direct implication is that the kidnap godfather who allegedly acted with impunity is now running from the long arm of the law. It remains to be seen whether his exit will ultimately translate to the return of peace to the town.