It was a simple plan but the morons I planned it with just bungled it for me.
It was supposed to be as simple as ABC but when people cannot follow simple instructions, they land you in trouble.
How did I get here? I will tell you, nothing to lose, we’ve been caught, we cannot be un-caught.
I am Myke and I am 38 years old.
I am not married, in fact, it was the issue of marriage that got me in the trouble that I have found myself today.
Ok, listen sister or are you in a hurry?
Nne, if you’re not going to be patient be going because as you are seeing me so, I am busy.
Yes, busy in prison.
Ok, you want to hear story?
I told you before it was the issue of marriage that brought me here. There’s this girl I met at 9th mile. Her name is Agnes. I call her Aggie.
She sells okrika, you know, and she is a very beautiful girl. So, I liked her. I told her that I wanted to marry her. She said ok. I said, ok.
But as you know, in our place, marriage is money and that is one thing I don’t have. I cannot go and be an armed robber because I want to marry woman. So I told Aggie, that is after we have been seeing each other for more than one year.
I said, Nne, I have no money for bride price o. So, no igba nkwu for you.
You know you women, she began to cry. Say all her friends will laugh at her that she is a cheap wife.
The important thing is you are happy, I am happy but this girl will not agree.
So, I continued with my job as trader, selling this ‘n’ that, this ‘n’ that but that money did not reach to marry woman and this Aggie, I like her a lot.
I have gone to visit her at her house, her father is old and she has a brother who also sells market. His name is Andy short for Andrew. They all live in the house their big brother built. So I know that they are expecting me to bring money to marry their daughter.
Even their brother in obodo oyibo, he knows me, he’s the one sending money to help them. So, I told Aggie, no problem, we have to wait.
Ok, so, one day, myself and Aggie’s brother, Andy, we were just talking about this our country Nigeria, how things are going and how man is working, and still yet nothing dey.
Then Andy said that the only thing one can do for quick money is kidnap because we cannot go and steal. That one is a terrible crime but kidnap, just collect ransom and pocket! No wahala.
He was just saying it like joke but I started to listen when he said what if we kidnap his father, won’t his brother in Italy pay?
I said, ‘Andy, you don dey craze?’
He was just saying it like joke, like joke but my mind was already working.
Oh, you say Andy said I was the one who brought the idea?
That is a stupid lie. Why would I tell the son of the man I want to kidnap that I am planning to kidnap his own father? Does that make sense to you?
It was Andy who brought the idea!
Me, I was looking for money for marriage das all. Andy brought the idea, so I began to think about it that time!
When I got to my one room, I thought about it.
See me, graduate, no job, no money to even pay rent for this room regularly, food was hard and I’m almost 39 and no marriage. Where would I even get money for that one?
So, three days later, I called Andy, I said we should meet at one joint not far from the market.
So I told Andy, ‘Come, that thing that you said about your father, are you serious?
Andy said yes, that he was very serious.
That’s how we began to plan it. At first, I didn’t want to tell Aggie, you know women don’t have heart like us men but Andy said if we don’t tell her, then it would be difficult to get papa out of the house. So, we told her. I told her that I would use my share to pay her bride price and she agreed to it.
Yes, she knew what we were going to do. Kidnap her father and call her brother to pay ransom and I would use some of my own to marry her. She too wants to get married, no woman wants to continue living in her father’s house forever!
So we planned it o.
I did not know that the morons I was planning something important with could not follow simple instruction. And what was the instruction sef?
Don’t use your phone, don’t use your phone, don’t use your phone.
They didn’t listen.
We took papa quite all right and we kept him in a place and was taking care of him. We called their brother in Italy. It was Andy who called him. Told him their father had been kidnapped.
That one said they should go to police station to report. Is that not how they do it?
They went, I followed them. We wrote statement say papa was on the farm when he was kidnapped.
After that, we were calling their brother all the time. We didn’t know their brother also had someone who also knew these police people and they were investigating.
But if not for Andy and Aggie, we could have got the ransom, I swear!
That stupid Andy went to use the phone I told him not to use. He used it.
That is how police traced the phone, they found him. One hot slap and he was confessing like witch!
That’s why you see me here, o.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)