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I sincerely hope that the police did not buy this woman’s story.’ I stated, looking up at Maryam who has just returned from the kitchen with…

I sincerely hope that the police did not buy this woman’s story.’ I stated, looking up at Maryam who has just returned from the kitchen with a plate of freshly made kwad’on zogale (cooked moringa leaves salad).

‘Here you are Bint, your kwad’o, done just the way you want it: with a sprinkle of green pepper, lightly boiled onions and a little hot pepper.’ She announced handing me the plate with a fork on it. ‘Enjoy’ she added, moving away to bring her own serving of the traditional delicacy.

‘Thanks very much,’ I said after taking my first forkful. ‘It’s truly delicious and the quli-quli (a kwad’o condiment) tastes really fresh too. Well done.’ I commended.

‘Thank you.’ Maryam replied. ‘You were saying something about a woman and the police when I came in. I just realized that I missed what you said while making my zogale presentation speech.’ She observed, humorously.

‘I was saying that the claim by a woman, in this newspaper, that she only kidnapped a boy in order to sell him and buy herself some room furniture is simply a lie. She has to be a professional kidnapper to be able to know where to take a child and sell him. I mean it’s not as if there is a market for human beings in Bauchi. So for her to admit that she stole the boy with the intention of selling him, means that she is already in touch with human traffickers or ritual murderers, who are ready to pay her and take him.’ I replied.

‘You know, I felt the same way too when I read the story. Everything about the story doesn’t add up. First of all, if she wasn’t a pro, how would she know how to sneak into her neighbour’s house at night, pick up an eight-year-old while he slept and get away without being seen by anyone? In fact, my suspicion is that she has a male accomplice, otherwise picking a sleeping eight-year-old from one house to another, can’t be easy for a woman. And then she made sure she drugged him before embarking on her mission. Didn’t you read where he said he remembered being asleep at home but when he woke he saw himself with the woman? How can a novice just looking for money to buy some household goods be able to perfect such a plan? And why steal a child, why not steal money, if all she wants is to renovate her burnt-out room?’ Maryam queried.

‘My point exactly. I know some people would say it’s desperation because she really wants to restore her room’s decor but a person who just suffered that kind of loss, a serious trial from God, would surely not want to quickly transfer the same pain to others because she is desperate to recoup her loss. And especially not by stealing someone else’s child, which is the worst trial a parent can go through. So my point is, the police must interrogate her thoroughly to know who her accomplice is, who helped her pick the boy from home. She must be made to disclose who she’s selling the boy to and how many she kidnapped and sold to him in the past. Additionally, the police must do the necessary tests to ensure that the baby on her back is really hers. For all we know, he is another victim who is just too young to expose her.’ I concluded.

‘Yes, that’s very possible, because the only way she got caught was because eight-year-old Nura had raised an alarm that she wasn’t his mother and that the last thing he remembered was lying down to sleep at home. Imagine if he was too young to talk too, she would have gotten away with kidnapping him or both of them successfully.’  Maryam concurred.

‘It’s my sincere hope that the police in Bauchi will diligently investigate this woman’s story and unearth the truth from it. There is obviously more to her tale than meets the eye. And if they allow themselves to be swayed by her lies about needing to refurbish her burnt room, then they may be having pity on the wrong party. And a criminal might be let loose again to continue her wrong deeds.’ I opined.

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