Monday 14 May 2007

To Madeleine McCann's abductor, a millstone awaits

Madeline McCann
Madeleine McCann - See the distinctive right eye; left eye in the picture. Courtesy BBC News.

Not through my children

There is a saying in Yoruba that goes as follows: "If my enemy decides to engage me, let it not be through attacking my children". The meaning of this is very deep, having never been a parent; I cannot begin to understand the utter distress and state of discomfiture that overcomes a parent when they sense or know that a child is in danger or peril.

From observation, I have seen many literally go mad, lose objectivity and lose control; there are no words to explain the palpable emotion of that situation.

In my late teens, when I voluntarily went missing because of problems I had in my life, my mother was beside herself, that another saying was invoked, "Knowing that a child is dead is a lot better than not knowing about the child when missing".

Supposed to be family-friendly

It is in this light that I also have in mind the McCanns who went on holiday to Portugal in the "family friendly" Praia da Luz resorts only to have their daughter Madeleine McMann abducted just a few days before her 4th birthday.

Not enough analysis can be made of the fact that the police are completely unused to child abduction crimes by reason of the lack of expertise, the indifference to previously locally reported abduction crimes and a poor understanding of prevailing human trafficking issues.

Portuguese law that prevents cases from being exposed to public access through crucial information dissemination and appeals does need reflecting upon; people move fast when it comes to kidnappings and abductions, there should be an information overload not a blackout on these matters so that the culprits can be apprehended quickly.

Usually, information leading to solving these crimes mostly involves members of the public informing the police, this is a lesson to take away from this situation, if any.

Safe but still missing

The profile of the abductors vary from someone who recently suffered the bereavement of a child to malevolent low-lives given to pederasty and peadophilia; the latter I would not countenance and I pray God that Madeleine is with the former, keeping faith with her parents that she is alive, safe and well with someone lavishing care upon her, but this person coming to the realisation that Madeleine is no orphan and she needs to be with her own and returned to the comfort of her family forthwith.

I cannot in any way blame the parents for having left their kids to go for a meal without availing themselves of childcare facilities - childcare facilities do not offer absolute safety, they only help to confer blame when something goes wrong - the whole context of "family-friendly" is lost if one cannot leave kids in a place - private hotel apartment - for an hour or two whilst the parents spend some quality time together.

And parents do need to devote time to each other without the interference of the kids which is why they did not dump the kids with minders during the day, but in the night when as it were, things were supposed to be quiet and safe.

Faith and persuasion

It is nice to know that people can still find succour and strength in their faith, the church being the rallying point of all those who have come together to pray for the safe return of Madeleine.

The additional voices and incentive for information leading to the safe return of Madeleine has hit £2.5 million about $5 million, even the culprits, if many should find a way of turning against each other and aim at this generous largesse, and I hope it does move more to act on any suspicious activity related to the little girl.

Hopefully, the time to really review policing in the tourist areas of the Southern European coasts of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece would come, however, for now, all that can be done to help the police return Madeleine to her family should be done without restraint, the police themselves know that with the eyes of world on them, not only is their reputation at stake, the whole "family-friendly" fantasy is about to go up in smoke.

My personal appeal

I personally appeal to the humanity of anyone who might have Madeleine McCann, give her up to be returned to her parents; even you will know that you cannot find rest with the harm of separation you have exacted on the girl, there can be no greater cruelty than to separate a child from its parents and there is no sterner punishment for those that commit evil against children.

Like Jesus said in Mark 9:42 - if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. (Message Bible)

There is no ambiguity in this statement, Jesus would care less if you drowned and it was made sure that you really did drown at the bottom of a lake; releasing the child might as well give you the redemption of swimming to safety - spare yourself the millstone.

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