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Surge of Kidnapping in Nigeria

By Abimbola Akindunbi & Kayode Olabanji
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It is not an exaggeration to describe our country as fear stricken and nightmarish due to insecurity across the country. People have become despair for fear caused by ritualists, abductors and kidnappers prowling the land, and terrorizing innocent citizens.

Literally, a day passes without a report of kidnappers grabbing innocent people for huge ransoms.

So lucrative and deadly the business has become that potential victims now live in partial fear of who becomes the next victim.

The Hope spoke to a cross section of Nigerians

Excerpts.

 

Mr Yemi Adetoyinbo,

Legal practitioner

To curb the excesses of kidnapping and free reign of kidnappers in Nigeria  goes to the root of joblessness, youths restiveness leading to increase in crime rate, armed banditry, because the successive administrations and the incumbent government have not done enough to provide jobs, gainful employment for the teeming Nigerian youths so as to reduce kidnapping and other crimes in the country.

If government creates more jobs year in year out, incidence of the crime would drastically reduced. Also the activities of Fulani herdsmen, who are alleged of kidnapping acts on daily basis, is because we don’t have sincere government that can checkmate them and address job issues, and reduce rise in crime.

The Law on Kidnapping is well entrenched in Laws of the Federation, 2004. And virtually all the states have domesticated the Law on Anti Kidnapping, carriyng life sentences on conviction, and now made a capital offence, like armed robbery and murder.

Edo State made it death sentence, but implementation is a bane. Evans case remains unresolved, unconcluded, while the implementation of the law suffers.

It should be strengthened, mandatory and the court  should be tougher on the crime. The provisions of the Law as accentuated in the Laws of Ondo State, 2006 and the Administration of Justice Law, 2016, prohibits persons aiding and  abetting kidnapping, like same sentences for the perpetrators of the crime.

For example, there are  cases in which  a fiance and his fiancee collaborate together to arrange for the kidnapping of the other to attract ransom from their respective parents and feign being kidnapped, in order to make money to enjoy as couples. While any kidnapping and attempted kidnappping is severe capital punishment to serve as deterrent to others, the orgy of the ugly crime trend continues unabated.

 Three lawyers; Adeolu Adebayo, Secretary, Ikole branch of the NBA, was kidnapped on November 17, with ransom of 3m paid. But he was later found dead in the bush on November 22, this year.

Also, Adesina Okeya, was abducted in Abuja and hacked to death. A Chief Magistrate, Remmy Ogor Jnr was kidnapped for two days in Njaba, Orlu, lmo State. Despite the ransom paid, his body was later dumped at the Centre square of the town. A bank Chairman had one of his hand cut off, after ransom was paid.

Insecurity of lives and property and failure of the security architecture in Nigeria and systemic collapse are also responsible. It is either kidnap by Fulani herdsmen or gunmen invasion, or area boys jobless in an area of purveyor and prevalence. Four lectures of Esa Oke Poly were allegedly kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen and police detectives  allegedly combed every where for their release from captivity.

It is a failure of our government at all levels. We need to engage traditional rulers, religious leaders, social and civil society groups, security agencies, governments as well as stakeholders to work together to find lasting solution to the dreaded crime before it consumes all of us.

– Femi Awolumate

  Student

Kidnapping has been a big trauma in the society which has actually eaten deep into the society  structure and economic value. And  it is painful that Nigeria has to go through a lot of stress fighting kidnapping in our generation.

My personal suggestion on the solution to end the evil act, is that security should start from us individually. Everybody should be security conscious so as to be able to tackle kidnapping to a minimum level..

As a student, how will one feel, when either of the parents is being abducted? It can cause psychological trauma for the student.

Anti-kidnapping squad in the police agency can actually improve and do better. I observed that they would have performed better. But bribery and corruption has handicapped their operations.

I want to recommend that integrity should be their watchword.

However, I want to commend their good efforts. But to whom much is given, much is expected.

Our governments at all levels too, should not pretend they are ignorant of the vices in our society. They should put a capital punishment on perpetrators, so as to tackle and reduce it.

The scripture says, “When the foundation is faulty, what can the righteous do? Our youths engage in kidnapping and other social vices majorly because some  of them are not well brought up. Others are idle and believe in the quick money syndrome.

Though there’s been pressure on the governments to provide employments for the teeming unemployed youth, I want to suggest we youths too, should be engaged by looking for good and legal things to do.

There’s a saying that ‘an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.’ So, it’s only a productive youth that will create a productive society.

Rather than waste their brains and strength on illegal things and crimes, they should divert it to useful and tangible skills.

– Abraham Daniel Yakubu

A Legal Practitioner.

Kidnapping in Nigeria has become a regular thing that we hear cases of it on a daily basis. People have been kidnapped for different reasons; like for rituals where you find a body on the street with some vital  parts of the body missing. They also kidnap in order to demand for ransom, even for religious beliefs and political reasons.

Just few days ago,  an NBA secretary from Ekiti state was kidnapped and killed after a ransom of three million naira had been paid by his family. Yet, he was not released alive. It was his dead body that was found somewhere in Ekiti.

To curb the incessant of kidnapping in Nigeria, government at all levels have to provide jobs for the youths so as to reduce poverty in Nigeria. We have people who are able and are willing to work. The religious fanatics also have big roles to play in their religion. They should preach peace to their people.

The politicians should see politics as a fair game and not a do or die affairs. You don’t have to kidnap your opponent before you win an election. If you are the peoples’ choice, people will vote for you.

We need to enlighten our people, because ignorance is another important issue that leads some people to kidnapping business.

People should be educated and know what is going on in the society.

If government can put all these in place, then we will have a safer society. But as long as we still have poverty, joblessness and illiteracy in our society, nothing can be put in place to curb kidnapping in our society.

Nigeria is a country that is well blessed. But the level of corruption and past bad leaderships have drawn us backward.

 

– Mr Femi Joseph

Public Relations Officer,

Ondo State Police Command

The Command is not relaxing in their words. To that effect, we had meetings with the stakeholders in the state on security measures. We have already started doing what we promised.

Although, there have been series of kidnapped cases of recent and we have been coming in to redeem the situations.

Just last week, we rescued some persons from the kidnapper’s den and more are to be rescued.

We would urge members of the public to be more  conscious with their  surroundings and activities around them.

We have always been saying that if you suspect any unusual activity, please place a call and feel free to visit any of our police stations.

One great way of curbing crime in our society is for the members of the public to assist us in engaging information to the police at all times.

As a matter of fact, most raiding activities at this period was given to us by members of the public. That is to show that they are huge contributing factors to reduce kidnapping in our society today.

Mr Damola Duyile

– Quantity Surveyor

Since kidnapping has been the order of the day, everybody should be conscious of his or her environment. At home, in our churches, and mosques, our children must be taught and trained or given security ethics, so they can know who and what to relate with. What they should say and what they should not say, including  the kind of information they should  give and what they should not give out.

They should be sensitive to their environments. They should not walk alone. They should move in pairs, like in twos or threes.

Even as adults, we must be very conscious of our environment. When you’re driving or  board taxi,  you must not be too relaxed.

As for our unemployed youths who are mostly perpetrators, they should turn over a new leaf. They should be engaged in meaningful jobs.

 The Federal and state governments too should also provide an enabling environment for them. Jobs should be available. If our youths are engaged, kidnapping and all these social vices will reduce drastically.

Our security agencies should put more efforts on their jobs. They should be advance in technology. Days of relying on analogue were gone. They should go digital. We don’t need the type of policing like 10, 20 years ago.

They should move with the world like security agencies in advanced countries. These kidnappers use sophisticated weapons now. So, our security agencies like Civil Defence, police, military should be ICT compliant.

They should carry out their duties with more recent strategies. And not the way our police do check points and ask you, “Wetin you carry.?

When any case is being reported, they should carry out thorough investigations.

-Pastor (Mrs) Sade Ezekiel

A Cleric

If I say I am not worried about this spate of high level crime in our own society, I am deceiving you.

Unfortunately,  this menace has eaten deep into the society. And majority of the populace are helpless.

I could remember vividly that till the 80’s, these crimes were not part of our system. Children would leave their homes in the morning, and return in the evening, I just wonder what came over the people involving in kidnapping and ritual killings.

Some would blame kidnapping on joblessness among the youths. But I partially disagree. Aside from the militants who pronounced kidnapping in the early 2000, this crime has been on, since the 1980’s during the Meitasine clash in Kano State. It’s just so unfortunate that our governments negligence and unperturbed attitude towards the security of this nation and its citizenry has led to the prevalence of this dastard act.

Some of these herdsmen are foreign terrorists, who came into the country without our government and our people being sensitive.

The federal government has a lot to do. The government should wake up from its slumber because I’m afraid,  these people might seize power one day and colonise us.

Each state government should rise up to the occasion and  protect  its people.

Our security agencies should be reinforced, because these people carry sophisticated weapons about.

Everybody should be involved in this fight. Normally, people know these hoodlums, but their challenge is telling the police. A lot believe there are some bad eggs in the police force giving these people information.

These foreign terrorists should be kicked out of our land, for peace to reign. And those who are sons and daughters of the soil engaging in any of these criminal activities should be searched out and made to face the wrath of the law.

Can you imagine, people now having phobia to travel within their land, because of these daredevils. who are either armed robbers or kidnappers. If it’s not ritual killing today, it will be rape tomorrow.

Sincerely, it’s disheartening.  But we should all continue to pray to God for divine intervention.

Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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