Tackling kidnapping in Nigeria by Mary Oluwatosin Afolabi



Kidnapping has become a big challenge in Nigeria. There is no month in Nigeria when we do not read on the pages of newspapers about cases of kidnapping.

Kidnapping refers to an action of abducting someone and holding them captive. It is one of the most serious criminal offenses with which a person can be charged. Kidnapping began as a crime that involved forcibly abducting someone and holding them captive demanding for a huge ransom.

There are many cases of kidnapping in Nigeria. Among those recorded are; The unforgettable kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, where over 200 girls was abducted in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

Subsequenty, the abduction of Dapchi Schoolgirls which occurred four years after the Chibok Schoolgirls were kidnaped.

Also, the Kankara schoolboys which occurred on 11th December, 2020 where over 800 pupils from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. Also, in July 2021, about 140 students were kidnapped from a Baptist High School for ransom in northwest Kaduna. Also the kidnap of the Commissioner's wife and driver in Benue on August 3, 2021. The kidnap of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri in person of Rev. Elijah Juma Wada.

Moreover, in November, 2020, nine students from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State were kidnap along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway. The students were reportedly traveling to Lagos for a programme at the Nigerian French Language village in Badagry when the incident occurred.

From my own perspectives, kidnapping can be reduce in Nigeria when there is good standard of living, provision of employments for the youths, stiffer penalties for culprits, good leadership at all level of government, promulgation of laws and its enforcement, proper data of immigrants and foreign nomads in the country, and also sound moral and religious teachings. These will help reduce the unfortunate act of kidnapping in Nigeria.

Abiodun Ramon Oseni identified what can be done to reduce act of kidnapping in Nigeria.

Firstly, establishing effective border control for all Nigeria. Secondly, provisions of a reliable and unique identification number of each individual such as National ID Card, Diver's License, National Identification Number also known as NIN and Voter Registration Cards for tracking social benefits other identification purposes.

Thirdly, curbing corruption with and among Nigerian Law Enforcement Agencies. If the corruption within and among the few Nigerian law enforcement agencies are tackled, the problem of kidnapping for ransom are a quarter of the way dealt with. This will in turn restore the confidence in Nigerians by feeding law enforcement agencies the necessary information to tackle kidnapping for ransom.

Fourthly, creating a better relationship between the locals and Nigerian Law Enforcement Agencies.

However, in relation to Nigeria’s present situation, the Nigerian government should establish dedicated community policing, therefore creating a better relationship with the local traditional leaders, religious leaders, youths, and other social organizations within communities in Nigeria. By doing so, it will aid in curbing the problem of kidnapping in Nigeria as trust is been established between the community and with law enforcement being consistent and available when kidnapping incidents arise. The fifth solution is cutting off the logistics of kidnappers in Nigeria.

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