Kidnapping is a serious crime and a security threat that is prevalent in Nigeria. Over the years, Nigerians have experienced unprecedented levels of kidnapping for ransom and other reasons. Unfortunately, this has gone unchecked.
The latest kidnap case involving Busola, a young lawyer, is a reminder that the government needs to do more to protect its citizens. According to reports, Bisola was abducted on Sunday by gunmen suspected to be members of the police force in front of her compound located in the Rumukwurushi area of Port Harcourt, immediately after which her sister raised alarm on social media to alert the public of her sister’s abduction while calling on Nigerians to help secure her release.
How Nigerians are reacting:
Bisola Ajayi was kidnapped today in front of her compound at Rumukwurushi PH!
Please RT and help locate Bisola
— Àkànké ? (@dreya_el) October 4, 2020
The case of kidnapping and armed robbery in Rivers State is really getting out of hand ??♀️??♀️we are not safe, we can’t even breath or walk on the streets, what exactly is the problem ?? a lady almost got kidnapped at Woji last week while driving into her compound by 6pm..
— Hadassah?? (@ObongAwanHadasa) October 5, 2020
If its kidnappings in Port harcourt and Rivers state, its not about coming to social media. First report the matter to the nearest police station. If you can go to SARS headquarters in rupokwu, that will be fine. Its not going to be easy. Sars ph are good for this type of case
— GREGORY (@fimmalization) October 5, 2020
Now this is what SARS should be doing. Searching for people being kidnapped and not extorting every nice dressing youth and calling every handsome/beautiful and successful Nigerian youth Yahoo Yahoo.
— Akande Mathew (@Matheskey) October 5, 2020
This problem is nationwide even though some places are worse than others. The state govt. cannot solve this problem alone. The Federal Govt. Must wake up to its responsibility of protection of life and property. Even animals in the jungle are safer than we humans.
— Animal Farm (@busybros4life) October 5, 2020
This is rather disturbing as it is coming at a time when the nation is still grappling with a myriad of challenges that need fixing.
Sadly, many Nigerians have suffered a similar or worse fate as Busola in the hands of kidnappers. In September, a 24-year-old was allegedly abducted and raped in Awka by three suspected kidnappers after collecting a ransom of N400,000 from her relatives.
The constant kidnapping of unsuspecting Nigerians by members of the Boko-Haram sect has even made matters worse. More disturbing, however, is the rising cases of kidnapping in Nigeria.
According to research, Nigeria has the highest rate of kidnaps in Africa and ranked number 1 for kidnap incidents in 2014. Between 2013 and 2014, the country was reported to have recorded a 30% increase in the number of kidnap cases and the most targeted areas include Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. However, over the past ten years, the South-South geopolitical zone including Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa, has been the worst hit by the activities of kidnappers due to the activities of militants.
It is worrisome that kidnapping is still rampant in Nigeria despite measures by the government to address the issue with the introduction of the anti-kidnapping squad and its Counter-Kidnapping operational strategies.
Unfortunately, most of these efforts have failed due to weak sanctioning and deterrence mechanisms. Evan’s story is a case in point – a serial kidnapper who was apprehended in 2017 whose case is still ongoing in the court.
In addition to weak sanctioning, other factors that contribute to the increasing rate of kidnapping in Nigeria include poverty and unemployment. Findings from research revealed that unemployment and poverty are perceived as the top reasons for kidnapping in Nigeria while greed also contributes to the menace. Sadly, the unemployment rate in Nigeria keeps increasing and currently stands at 27% from 13.96% in 2019.
There is, therefore, an urgent need for the government to address the rising unemployment rate among the youth to curb this menace that poses a threat to national security. Stricter measures must also be put in place to check the activities of kidnappers. Meanwhile, the anti-kidnapping squad must do their best to fish out the perpetrators of Bisola’s kidnap and reunite the lawyer with her family. Most importantly, the government must do its best to make our society a safer place to live in.