December 19th, 2012
Mr. Mohammed Abubakar,
Inspector General of Police,
Louis Edet House,
NOLLYWOOD ACTORS' KIDNAP: PLEASE, BRING OUR COLLEAGUES BACK HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
We write to formally inform your esteemed office of the kidnap, last Sunday, December 16th, of two of our colleagues, enterprising entertainers, Nkiru Sylvanus and Kenneth Okolie. The two actors were in Owerri, Imo State, shooting a movie when they were forcefully abducted by masked gunmen.
Some hours later, the mindless abductors contacted family and friends of Ms Sylvanus especially demanding a N100m ransom. Up till now, we cannot fathom the rationale behind their kidnap. And their abductors have advanced none.
Perplexingly, about five days after this untoward incident, no concerted efforts, as far as we know, are being made to rescue these hardworking and patriotic Nigerians who sweat and toil to bring joy into millions of homes and hearts across Nigeria and the globe. Indeed, it is sad and heartbreaking.
It is even more worrisome and befuddling considering that these actors' kidnap is coming just days after the Police, under your distinguished leadership, valiantly and commendably went all out for the kidnapped 82-year-old mother of the coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister for Finance, Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The result, as we all know, is that Prof Kimene Okonjo was returned home hale and hearty, thanks to the Police, your Police. Are Sylvanus and Okolie lesser citizens? Are they no longer Nigerians who you should be bothered about their safety and wellbeing?
Don't they deserve the kind of police attention that Professor Okonjo got? Does kidnap have another name? Or, has Nigeria been reduced to George Orwell's Animal Farm where some animals are more equal than others?
We, the Friends of Sylvanus and Okolie, do not think so. We just believe that you probably are swamped with protecting the lives and property of Nigerians during this yuletide season or you are not aware how important they also are as law abiding citizens of this great country.
Sir, Ms Sylvanus is one of the more popular and proficient role interpreters in Nollywood (Nigeria's globally acclaimed movie industry) with a catalogue of seminal movies that have shored up our rating as a filmmaking nation in the last 15years.
Worthy of mention is that it is because of actors like Sylvanus that the Nigerian movie industry has achieved so much reverence and renown globally.
Apart from her acting career, she is also a notable philanthropist who donates as much as she earns to motherless babies and widows.
Mr. Okolie, on the other hand, won the Mr. Nigeria contest in 2010 and went on to represent Nigeria at the Mr. World contest where he was second runner up. In his own way, he has flown the flag of Nigeria in pride on global stages. He is also an actor and singer and model. He is willing to do more to further make Nigeria proud but he can't do anything in captivity.
It is in the light of our apparent helplessness that we decided to write you this letter to please deploy the same audacious expertise and refined gallantry that have become the hallmark of the Nigeria Police under your watch to bring our colleagues home to their families and fans.
Of course, you know sir, that these young Nigerians cannot afford anything near the ransom being demanded and we are scared that if something is not done fast, we fear the worst for Sylvanus and Okolie.
That is why we are counting on you sir.
As we earnestly await their return, we hope that you would please, use your office to evolve a winning and redoubtable strategy to protect the Nollywood community from the increasing incidence of abduction as we have not forgotten so soon that veteran screen idols Nkem Owoh and Pete Edochie have traveled that tortuous and unpleasant road before.
We wish to continue entertaining Nigerians and doing Nigeria proud with our art but we cannot do so under an atmosphere of pervasive insecurity and vulnerability.
Please, help us and accept the assurances of our profound regards and promise to continue to be Proudly Nigeria.
God bless you.
God bless the Nigeria Police
God bless Nigeria
Friends of Nkiru Sylvanus and Kenneth Okolie