Opinion

How Buhari’s Government Fueling The Menace Of Lucrative Kidnapping Business In Nigeria

BY OLORUNSOLA JOHN OLUDAISI

In Nigeria, it is obvious that the menace of kidnapping has grown into a flourishing and lucrative multi-billion-naira industry. Kidnapping business is growing by the day, even as it claims lives on day basis. Kidnapping business with its attending multiplier effects, has turned Nigeria to be one of the failed states of the world.

From the north to the south, kidnappers are kings dictating their ramsons even the security agents are not spared as they pay their ways out of the kidnappers’ dens whenever they fall victims.

It is rather so sad to note that in the last 11 years, reports have it that not less than N13.66bn was paid as ransom between June 2011 and July 2022, while from 2021 to date, over 500 incidents of kidnappings were said to have been recorded with close to 4,000 Nigerians and some foreign citizens abducted across Nigeria, many more unreported cases are happening and these could not be ascertain due to the nature of Nigeria when it comes to proper data documentation. 

While all these incidents of kidnappings and abductions were happening across the country, the Nigerian government left the victims in the hands of these unrepentant and inhuman gangs. 

The citizens elected a government headed by a former military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari. This is a country self-acclaimed to be the giant of Africa. In Nigeria, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists were seen holding their victim’s hostage at will for several months without the government freeing them or negotiating for their release.

Since March 2022 when bandits attacked, killed some and abducted hundreds of the passengers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s train on its way from Abuja to Kaduna, some of the abducted victims are still in the hands of their captives because they are yet to pay ransoms. While it is known facts that those who have regained freedom, paid heavily to get their freedom from these criminals

There is no doubt that the present government lacks the political will to deal decisively with the perpetrators of terrorism and banditry.

If not for connivance, how come our security agencies are not able to pinpoint the exact location of these criminals and use technology to launch precision attacks and save our people from their den? It is beyond belief that bandits will kidnap victims and hold them hostage for months and even have the audacity to show video clips of how the kidnapped people are being tortured. If the Nigerian government does not find this embarrassing enough, then nothing can ever be shameful.

Despite glaring evidence, Nigeria’s security services, known as the DSS, denied there was a “kidnapping epidemic”.

It “has spread because insurgency has spread”, DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya told AFP, blaming insecurity on the proliferation of foreign weapons and the spread of jihadists outside of their enclaves in the northeast.

A former US ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell felt sorry for the country while speaking on the issues of kidnapping in Nigeria, “In the past, kidnap victims tended to be the wealthy and the prominent, and so kidnappers had every interest in keeping their victims alive to extract the maximum ransom possible. Now, victims are often poor villagers, sometimes kidnapped indiscriminately, a departure from the targeted kidnapping of wealthy people.”

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