Kidnapping in Nigeria: A Fast Rising Business

On Friday, 26th of June 2020, nothing less than nine people were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Ondo state.

The travellers who were on their way to Lagos from Abuja were abducted by gunmen in Ondo state, however, the police were only able to rescue one person as they continue to comb through the woods in the area to rescue and to bring the kidnappers to justice.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers already contacted a relative of one of the victims to request for a N100 million ransom.

Kidnapping people to make money is now a fast rising criminal business transaction in Nigeria. Sometimes the victim can be killed if the requirements for his/her release is not met. In the past, 80 percent of the victims of kidnapping are wealthy people who can afford huge amount of ransoms, but now anyone can be kidnapped with a price tag that befits their social status.

Several cases of kidnapping have sprung up in this year alone. Just some months ago, we heard that two Nigerian footballers were kidnapped and released although we are not sure if a ransom was involved or not. This prompts us to ask:

  1. How can Nigerian law enforcement curb kidnappings? Would increased police/military checkpoints help?

  2. How can Nigerians protect themselves from being victims of kidnapping? Would legalizing gun possession be a good step? I mean if someone knows you would likely be armed, the person may think twice about making a play for you.

  3. Is anyone safe? If people are not being kidnapped for ransom, they are being kidnapped for rituals.

  4. Is there any strong indication that the government is serious about curbing this menace? We keep hearing of kidnappings on the Kaduna - Abuja road almost daily. If it is known that this road is a hotbed of kidnappings, why has the govt not stationed/created several military checkpoints on that road?