- Kidnapping is almost a daily occurrence in Nigeria nowadays
- For criminal elements, it is now a booming industry because of its financial rewards
- A recent report shows how Nigerians have paid at least N7billion as ransom to kidnappers in 9 years
A report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence has revealed that between the year 2011 and 2020, Nigerians paid at least N7 billion as ransom to kidnappers.
The report relied on data collected from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the Council for Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, newspaper reports and SBM intel’s own countrywide network of researchers.
It also contains the breakdown of the name of victims, date, state and amount paid respectively.
Four of the top 10 states with a high number of kidnap incidents over the last decade are in the south-south geopolitical zone, with three of them being Bayelsa – 85, Delta -96 and Rivers – 120.
Others states with high kidnap incidents include Kaduna – 177, Borno – 82, Kogi – 59, Edo – 55, Ondo – 54, Katsina – 52 and Taraba – 47.
The report says up until late 2018, kidnap attempts were targeted at specific victims who were mostly politically-exposed persons, business people and their close relatives, or expatriates.
The report also reveals that the rising levels of youth unemployment is a major factor responsible for the growth of kidnap cases.
“Previous SBM research has shown that the crime rate soars during election periods and politicians key into the mass idleness of young people by using them for political violence.
“Nigeria has a problem of large swathes of ungoverned spaces, areas of the country that are without government or security presence. This puts residents at the mercy of whichever criminal elements are in the ascendancy,” the report noted.
It urged state governments to take the lead in promoting harmonious relations with long-neglected communities (which will aid intelligence gathering).
The sub-national governments were also encouraged to engage with federal authorities to develop policies which address their needs as well as offer support to industries within their jurisdictions in order to create a diversity of economic opportunity across the country.
“This is a national emergency that must be seen as such because it strikes at the legitimacy of the country’s longest democratic stretch,” the report noted.
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Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate has called for the de-centralization of the Nigeria Police Force and the need for community policing as a way of addressing the country’s problem of insecurity.
This formed part of the recommendations of the Senate ad-hoc committee on Nigeria security challenges which was considered and approved during plenary on Tuesday, May 5.
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