Mike Ogiasa and Nigeria’s shallow grave

A video has recently been released of Mr. Mike Ogiasa, a former state commissioner for special duties(Federal projects) and Special Adviser on Power Development in Bayelsa State, and cousin to  former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan pleading for his life from captivity. How many Nigerians have pleaded for their lives at the hands of the many criminals who are now threatening to overrun Nigeria, and how many of those pleas have gone unheard?

 An atrocious abduction

On June 2, 2022, upon arriving home in Otuabadi, Ogbia Local Government Area of the State after a meeting, Mr. Ogiasa, an Engineer and the Convener of a socio-political group, Voice of the South-South (VSS) became one more victim of Nigeria`s now highly lucrative kidnapping for ransom  business when gunmen numbering about eight swooped on him like a pack of rabid jackals. Contact was not immediately initiated with his family even as the police confirmed  it was doing everything it can to secure his release.

 A cry for help

 Now more than a month later, a video of Mr. Ogiasa has been deliberately released by his abductors to haunt Nigerians  and remind them of the  grueling fate of one of their own at the hands of the many criminals who now call the shots in many parts of Nigeria while security agencies appear overwhelmed by both the steel and stealth of those  determined to steal Nigeria from its true owners.

In the twenty-seven-seconds video, Mr. Ogiasa cried, “You are seeing me in the grave. Please, do everything possible to come and release me. Any money that is available…any money that you can make. Do everything possible. Please any money that is available. Is the money more important than my life? Please do everything that is possible.”

 A horrifying humiliation

Those who have been put through hell at the hands of the many lawless criminals who have carved quite a lucrative business out of Nigeria`s awful security situation have had quite horrifying tales to tell. From being made to walk long distances for hours on bare foot in bushes crawling with all manner of things, to being beaten and starved, to being kept in close quarters with decomposing corpses, many of those who have tasted of the vinegar of abduction in Nigeria have been left with a sour aftertaste.

In the trending video, Mr. Ogiasa was seen shirtless in a flooded shallow grave, his head covered with what looked like a black nylon bag. The implications for his physical and mental health as well as the psyche of his traumatized family can only be imagined.

 A shallow grave

In many ways, Mr. Ogiasas ordeal – particularly his shallow grave -  in the hands of his abductors, is a metaphor for where Nigeria is at the moment. Years of mismanagement of the leadership resources of the Giant of Africa are finally blowing up in its face in the most frightening of fashions with the legion of the lawless long held at bay by the dying stabs of Nigerias security apparatus. Now, there appears there is nothing left to deter them and they are determined to make up for lost time.

If Nigeria must drag itself out of the grave which is getting deeper by the day and escape from those determined to become its undertakers, there is no time left for inaction.

Kene Obiezu,


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