The fear of kidnappers/kidnapping is the beginning of wisdom for an average Nigerian. This dastardly act is arguably the biggest security threat in Nigeria today. It is one of the biggest organized or gang crimes in Nigeria and at present a major national security challenge. Kidnapping in Nigeria The act of kidnapping takes place in
The fear of kidnappers/kidnapping is the beginning of wisdom for an average Nigerian. This dastardly act is arguably the biggest security threat in Nigeria today. It is one of the biggest organized or gang crimes in Nigeria and at present a major national security challenge.
Kidnapping in Nigeria
The act of kidnapping takes place in Nigeria, almost on a daily basis. Nigeria has one of the world’s highest rates of kidnap-for-ransom rates. The current rates of abduction across Nigeria makes every person a likely target or victim of this heinous crime. But what is kidnapping? It is the illegal abduction or detention of a person through the use of force, threats, fraud, or enticement.
The first case of kidnapping in Nigeria can be traced to the militants of the Niger Delta in 2006. This was intended to protest the underdevelopment and deprivation in the oil-rich region, which serves as the cash cow of the entire country.
In the Niger Delta, agitators took hostage, expatriates working with multinational oil companies to force these companies to carry out development projects in their host communities and to force the government into the negotiation roundtable.
Later, the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram started abductions to further its interests, recruit new members, and force the government to negotiate with it for ransom. We cannot forget in a hurry the abduction of 276 teenage girls in Chibok, Borno State in 2014 by Boko Haram terrorists. Kidnapping for ransom on a large scale became rampant in Nigeria in 2011. The act has become a very lucrative business in many parts of the country, creating a thriving criminal economy.
kidnapping in Nigeria for ransom
This crime is coming more democratized in Nigeria as more people are engaging in it in different parts of the country. Apart from the Niger Delta militants and terrorist groups, organized local and transnational syndicates have joined the bandwagon. This is happening at an unprecedented rate in the states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger where bandits engage in the act on a regular basis.
There is a common belief that miscreant Fulani herdsmen are perpetrators of most kidnappings in Nigeria. The bandits have been blamed for most of the kidnappings in the North West of the country in recent times. Most of these bandits are believed to be young Fulani men who worked as nomadic cattle herders before turning to the lucrative crime of kidnap-for-ransom. Although the Fulani pastoralists have become the kidnapping bogeymen, we also have abductors who are of other ethnic extraction.
The solutions to the high spate of kidnapping in Nigeria are not far-fetched. At the microcosm level, the root cause of kidnapping should be addressed. These causal factors include injustice, inequality, poverty, lack of education, and economic opportunities in society.
On a broader level, kidnapping can be reduced or even eradicated in Nigeria by adopting the following measures: one is the creation of employment opportunities for the youths by the government; introduction of social welfare package to cushion the effects of poverty and inequalities in the land; provision of sophisticated and modern equipment to the security forces; provision of a unique and reliable identification number for each person for tracking purposes, creating a better working and harmonious relationship between the locals and the Nigerian law enforcement agents.
Equally just as important in putting a stop to kidnapping in Nigeria is the need to curb corruption within and among Nigerian law enforcements agencies; enforcement of more severe punishment against perpetrators, reform of the legal and judicial system to ensure strict compliance with relevant laws relating to kidnapping; cutting off the logistics of the kidnappers and effective and proactive intelligence gathering by the security personnel amongst others.