Kidnapping is a global problem in every country, but in Nigeria it seems like a routine thing. The issue of kidnapping has become common in Nigeria. The question now is why is it that no one is talking about it? or is it because our voices are not loud enough? Nigeria, so far, tops the number of kidnap cases in Africa and nothing seems to be done to reduce this rate.
In the first half of 2021, over 3,000 people were kidnapped, and 4,616 people were kidnapped in the year 2022. Between July 2021 and June 2022, over 564 were killed in violence associated with abduction. April 8, 2023, about 80 people were abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s Zamfara State, mostly woman and children.
Going back to the abduction of the Chibok girls, April 14 -15 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped by Islamic terrorist popularly known as “Boko Haram”. Female students between the ages of 16 and 18 were kidnapped by these Islamic terrorists from the Government Girls Secondary School at the town of Chilbok in Borno State, Nigeria. About 57 of the girls were able to escape the incident by jumping down from the truck in which was used in transporting them, leaving 219 girls still held for ransom. In May 2016, Amina Alli, one of the missing girls, was found, and she claimed the remaining girls were still there, but six had died. The abduction of these girls brought up the protest #BringBackOurGirls in 2014. However, nine years later the girls are yet to be released.
In January 2015, less than a year after the Chibok abduction, 40 boys and young men were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Malari, Borno State. In February 2018, in the town of Dapehi, 110 school girls were abducted with no intervention intercepting the abductors yet as of March 4, 2018. A UNICEF report released in April 2018, stated that more than 1000 children have been kidnapped. Another UNICEF report revealed that 1436 children were abducted in Nigeria between 2020 and 2022.
The practice of kidnapping has evolved among the bandits, terrorists and cultists in Nigeria. Kidnapping for ransom has increased in Nigeria because it is seen as an opportunity of getting rich.
The purpose of this abduction could be economic, political or ideological. Kidnapping for ransom, for ritual, child abduction and strategic bargain are different pattern of Kidnapping.
The act of kidnapping is usually planned before being carried out. In Nigeria, kidnapping for ransom is very common. The case of kidnapping for ritual is also common.
In my view, there are solutions to this issue, as nobody is safe outside basically because anyone can be abducted. My first suggestion would be that the areas in which the issue of Kidnapping is common should have high standard security, and the public should also be vigilant.
My second opinion would be the discouragement of ransom, this may not be easy but it can stop. The issue of kidnapping is something we need to talk about because it keeps increasing but can be resolved or decreased, if the government is ready to intervene.
Oddiri is a student of the Department of English and Literary Studies of Delta State University, Abraka