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Richard Duru: A kidnapper’s delight

Richard Duru: A kidnapper’s delight
November 25
14:47 2023

How else do we describe it? A general in the hands of kidnappers for over two months. I hear they get periodic funding to cover his essentials while negotiations for his release are being carried out.

What better way to carry on a simple and basic function of kidnapping, than to kidnap a strategic target like Retired Major General Duru?

Two months ago, the news of General Duru’s kidnap hit the airwaves but I was concerned. The major mainstream outlets did not sensationalise the news. I was worried, only the gutter press, with some no-name blogs, serenaded the news that one of Nigeria’s most respected military officers had been kidnapped while driving his Benz Jeep somewhere in Imo state

As expected, within hours even the jankara bloggers had moved on to the wahala between Mr Ibu, his son, wife and side chick turned adopted daughter and mainstream media had also moved on from just mentioning it in their inner pages to covering Tinubu’s many travels.

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The lack of media interest worried me because one of the weapons used to fight this kind of matter is media pressure as it would galvanise authorities out of embarrassment to do something

As I write, General Duru is about to commence his third month with his hosts. To the best of my knowledge, he has not been released and his safety, health-wise both mentally and physically, would now be in very dangerous modes.

I got a call from a strategic insider during the week. “Edgar, I hear you are about to write an article, just know before you write your usual rubbish that everything within our powers is being done to make sure of his release. We have established a two-way communication with them and we are making progress”.

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Well, obviously the progress is not moving very fast as our kind general is still with them.

General Duru is the kind of man you would love to meet. He grew up in the famous Myoung Barracks in Yaba where I was born. I lived just outside of the barracks while he with Dennis and Daniel, Akootaire, Simon Uche and the rest stayed in the barracks.

We all attended Command Secondary School in Ipaja but here he excelled as a senior, footballer and prefect. So it was no wonder that he was amongst the very first to get into the famous NDA and from there enlisted into the Nigerian Army.

His progress in the army was a thing of pride to the Command community. We all watched out for news about him and his exploits and boasted to any who cared to listen that he was our man, the brave and highly professional military man.

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He made general and we all clapped. Then he made two-star general and we moved into ecstasy. He was very involved in alumni activities of our school and served in so many capacities not minding his high status and the fact that some of us would yab him, especially during elections which used to be very volatile

It was during one such occasion that he summoned me. I was running for president of the alumni association and forces were against me and I ran to the media where I had the strength to shout.

I went on STV to grant an interview and this made noise. He sent for me and I went to his army headquarters office somewhere in Lagos

I was very proud that my senior was this high in the military. The soldiers saluted me with respect as they took me to his office.

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He was in full uniform and seated on a couch far from me smiled as I walked in. “Edgar, you this rascal from Shomolu, how your mama?” he asked. “She dey o,” I said in response. He knew my mother who had served at the military hospital near the barracks he grew up and used to always ask after her each time we met.

“Edgar, the chief of army staff has called me to ask me what was going on in the alumni,” he said to me matter of fact. I opened my mouth. “Chief of Army staff?” I repeated and he said yes.

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“The army command are worried that this may go out of hand and they have reached out to me as a member of the alumni to ascertain what was going on. Edgar, I have served this country with everything I have and as I am nearing my retirement, I would not want anything to tarnish my image and hard-fought reputation. Edgar, let me go in peace.”

Kai, Kai, Kai. I had fought long and hard to come this far in this matter but here was a distinguished highly medalled general who had served in various theatres of war and had been given several delicate assignments that he had carried out with verve and here was I trying to tarnish it because of an inordinate ambition to run the alumni association.

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I stood up and assured him that I would step down. I would give him the maximum respect that he deserved by stepping down. I told him I felt very elated that he could consider small me to summon me to his offices to make this request.

I told him that coming from our background in Shomolu to Command, I would be the last to tarnish his image and that I would immediately stand down and ask my supporters to let peace reign.

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General Duru thanked me, hugged me and offered me tea and biscuits and I left.

He went ahead to serve very meritoriously for another three years or so and was retired in glory with a very beautiful pull-out ceremony with gun salutes and brilliant speeches and medals and from there straight to the kidnapper’s den.

Please I beg the Imo state government, the Nigerian Army, and the president, commander in chief of the armed forces to please do whatever it is within their powers to release this Nigerian hero from the den of kidnappers.

That’s all I can say for now. Na beg.



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