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Kidnappings: How Safe Are Nigerians?

Kidnappings: How safe are Nigerians?

Before the forceful capture of foreign oil workers in Nigeria by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) commenced in 2005, the act of kidnapping was an alien act. Not a few Nigerians thought that the illegal act would fizzle out as soon as government tackled the problems confronting the Niger Delta crisis. With the commitment by government to resolve issues that gave birth to the crisis in the oil-rich communities, kidnapping was soon to be a thing of the past. Over four years since the first case of kidnapping was reported, it has become a cherished act by criminals and is slowly being transformed into a cherished art for economic survival.

According to the Deputy Force public Relations Officer (DFPRO), Mr Yemi Ajayi, the police have recorded that between the years 2005-2008, over 1,756 cases of kidnapping recorded across the country. The breakdown of the total figure indicates that in year 2005, 798 cases were recorded, while in 2006, the figure dropped to 372. In 2007, the number of kidnap cases recorded dropped to 277 and rose to 309 in 2008. In the first seven months of 2009, according to police authorities, 512 Nigerians were kidnapped.

A leader of MEND, Prince Estela Harry, told Peoples Daily that the commencement of kidnapping in the country can be traced to the demand for justice by Niger Delta youths. Harry, who is popularly referred to as the ‘godfather,’ said that economic impoverishment and the despoliation of the environment were some of the reasons behind kidnappings in the Niger Delta. Blaming politicians for the saga, Harry said that politicians in the region should be held responsible for the act.Frontage of Optimum Pleasure Hotel: Where the council bosses were abducted.

"Before election, these politicians use these boys to scare their enemies and when they get into public offices, they simply change their numbers and refuse to pay the boys what they promised them. What do you expect the boys to do: They fight for survival and do anything to keep body and soul together," Harry said.

Four years after introducing kidnapping in the political lexicon of the nation’s history, other regions have come to embrace the concept. Addressing a press conference recently, Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Lame said that about 512 Nigerians were kidnapped in the first seven months of 2009. These figures, the police minister lamented, represented a frightening rise in the cases of kidnappings and reiterated government’s commitment in tackling the problem.

From statistics made available, in 2008, the total number of persons kidnapped was less than 340 persons, with about 3 persons killed by the captors. The kidnapping of 512 and total deaths of about 30, according to Lame, indicate a rise in number of people engaged in perpetrating the criminal activities of kidnappings.

Though kidnapping was introduced by militant youths to demand a fair share in the region’s wealth, criminals have seized on the opportunity to kidnap prominent Nigerians and their relations for payment of large ransoms. Government sources revealed hat with government crackling down on the activities of oil bunkering which provide revenues to militants, armed gangs in the Niger Delta have resorted to kidnapping for ransom payments as their source of incomes. In the past seven months, several kidnappings in the oil-rich regions have taken place and they include , among others: the shooting to death on January 29 of an 11-year-old daughter of a Royal Dutch Shell worker and the abduction of his 9-year-old son. The militants later released the boy one week later; the kidnap of a Canadian woman on April 16 in Kaduna who spent two weeks with her captors; MEND kidnapped 15 crew members after hijacking tow cargo ships on May 14. In most of the kidnappings, ransoms were paid except the Kaduna saga where the security agents stormed the kidnappers’ hideout and rescued the victim.

The recent kidnapping of two local government chairmen in Kogi brought to the fore that the criminal abduction of persons for ransom payment is not an exercise exclusive to the Niger Delta. The chairman of Igalamela local council was forced to cough out N30 million to secure his release and that of his wife. The payment of N30 million as ransom, according to findings by our reporter who was on the trail of the council boss, is generating controversy among councilors of the local government.

The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, told Peoples Daily in his office that the abductors came to the Kogi from a neighbouring state, adding that there had never been a case of kidnapping in the state.

"Before anything, you need to trace where the kidnappers were coming from and where they started their operation", he said. He said that from the police preliminary investigation, the kidnappers came from Ondo State, passing through Ado-Ekiti to Itakpe and Ibilo before arriving at Kabba.

The Kogi state Police commissioner has blamed the high rate of kidnapping in the country on youth restiveness, saying that there was need for rapid development of rural areas for the engagement of unemployed youths.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Emmanuel Ojukwu, told Peoples Daily, that the former Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro, before his retirement, had introduced a draft bill to criminalise the offence of kidnapping in the country.

The PPRO who said the intention of kidnappers is not to kill a human being, but extort money from them, advised Nigerians not to rush into paying ransom to them, but instead liaise with the police.

He stated that the police have been intervening in kidnap cases to rescue the victims, saying, "in concert with other security agents in the country, we have been rescuing kidnap victims without paying a kobo to these criminals and we’ve been arresting and prosecuting them. So why give your money to a band of criminals."

Nigeria’s Nollywood actor, Chief Pete Edochie, who was recently kidnapped at Onitsha but released by his abductors called on government officials to abstain from displaying obscene wealth.

Speaking on a Raypower interview last week, Edochie appealed to government "to listen to me now. Let them address the situation of things in the country. The young men who are not gainfully employed should be entitled to social security; at least, each week, let them be given some stipends to cater for basic fundamentals to sustain life."

As the spate of kidnappings continues to increase with the passing of each day, not a few Nigerians are looking up to the security agencies to step up efforts to curb the security threat posed by the kidnappers. More worrisome, incessant kidnappings by youths in various parts of the country prognosticate greater challenges on the part of the nation’s security.

With the Niger Delta militants engaged in seize fire, following the amnesty declared by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, can the security agencies rise up to the challenge of confronting the criminal abduction of Nigerians for ransom payments? Only the passage of time can tell.

http://www.peoplesdaily-online.com/index.php/news/national-news/16-national-news/3736-kidnappings-how-safe-are-nigerians

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24 answers

reps and senators first. They are the real pest behind Nigeria's rot. Kill 'em all. Bastards

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@Onlytruth

No no no.I get work (thank God) but i get radical ideas of my own.

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KIDNAPPING!!! THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE. iT IS ONLY POINTING TO THE FACT THAT THE END IS NEAR.

NOT EVERYONE IS SAFE.

WE NEED TO PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY

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That's why I live in the Mighty Mighty United States of America.

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@Topic

It's unfortunate but as things are, no one is safe even those that earn honest living.Too bad.

@Kidnappers

I know most of you are educated, therefore i know some of you surf through these forums from time to time (I'm referring to active kidnappers and those planning to kidnap).Please, anything worth doing should be worth doing well.If you are to kidnap, please go after those causing you despair, go after those in power.All roads lead to PDP camp.Quit kidnapping people who struggled to be what they are today through blood,sweat and tears.I empathize with some of you (especially the militants) but if you come around me or any of my family and i happen to be around, we will shoot ourselves to death.I mean it.I have an unlicensed TEC 9 and i don't care about your AK47's.We will exchange fire from dusk till dawn.

There are thousands of delicious targets out there e.g the president, president wife, president children,relations and so on.Governors,senators, dem dey there.Leave struggling Nigerians alone.It's senseless and without cause.It makes no sense.If you don't have the balls to do it then you have two options.You either continue to struggle from hand to mouth as always or drink poison and die.Simple as that.However, if you need some pointers on how to kidnap the president, here are some hints.

Here's what you need to kidnap the president :

(1)50-60 able bodied who are ready to die for the cause

(2)Anti-tank/Anti-aircraft rockets (with launchers of course)

(3)GPMG's and a few M16's (forget AK47's.They ain't all that)

(4)2-3 trained snipers

(5)C4 or SEMTEX explosives

(6)High projectile/caliber resistant body Armour

Set up an ambush.Take out all the body guards and whatever feeble security the president has with anti-tank rockets (some of the cars might be bullet proof but none are missile proof.This can be launched from a portable launcher.Kill everyone in sight.Leave no witnesses.There are all thieves.After this, split into three groups.One goes in to get the president and the others cover all areas against some gallant "mopol" that would like to join the game with their little AK47's.Repress them with GPMG's and if they want to be "Rambo", take them out with rockets.Go in for the president.If he refuses to come out of the bullet proof car, plant Semtex on the windscreen and time it for 15 secs.The "rat" will run out with full speed.Disable the Semtex.Affix it to a jacket and wear it on him and make sure it's not "fail safe".That means, if anyone security agent tries to act "James Bond", the president gets blown to smithereens.

Add in your own ideas but dis na the basics.

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Newbie

What should get everyone concerned is that the kidnappers these days are sophisticated. They operate in suits and speak impeccable English. What does that tell us? Our university graduates have finally started to find "job". That means they may be more intelligent than our average "olopa". Who knows which next job they may be drawn to? But does anyone in government of Nigeria care? People who should be employed as policemen and women are now the kidnappers!

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Errrr, when will that happen? We don dey wait tey-tey!

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Newbie

I wish they would only kidnap politicians.

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Newbie

9jerians aint safe nat even in her wildest of dreams.

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one of the best experiences ever relayed of a "KIDNAPPEE" PETE EDOCHIE was that his stomach was always lubricated and he did not feel the grave situation he was in ,

I guess a way to stay safe or feel safe for that matter is to always carry "LUBRICANTS" around in case one is kidnapped since no one is safe.

On another light note, a friend of mine in Canada asked me for the some of the lucrative businesses in Nigeria and I told him that kidnapping is one of them, that if we invest a little amount into arms, and train a few boys, the money should be rolling in fast ,

Honestly, I feel bad about the kidnap situation.  It is just another avenue for many jobless people to make fast money, which is the trend now ,

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Kidnappin can be combatd.wait until they upgrade to d level of legislatures,state governors n even d president!

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Even before kidnapping became the fashion, Nigerians have never been safe. It is either they are felled by police bullets or by the rampaging northern islamists. Islamic killings have caused more harm than kidnapping, I would say. Whereas kidnapping can be tackled, does the govt have the will to tackle religious killings in the North?

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Kidnapping has come to stay in Nigeria, but is only God that can help us because there is no security to curb this problem.

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@ Yinkade, it is very simple, just go to the forum you want to post a topic like politics, religion etc as soon as the page opens, look up you will see New Topic, click on it and wait and the page will open for you to type.

I hope this goes a long way to help you.

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Someone mentioned Columbia in the 90s. I wonder if the scale of kidnappings is still as worrisome. If it has reduced how did they deal with it? Maybe Nigeria could learn one or two lessons.

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    Hi, go to any subject under welcome to nairaland, like politics,romance,nairaland,computer etc, click to any of this depend on your subject for post. After you click on the subject,it take you to the window to see different post subject, there at your right hand up,you will see new post, click on it and make a subject but I guess to make your post to first page on nairaland it a random selection but your post will be under the subject selected at any time, Just like me I have my post at the first page of nairaland and others under politics, you can check my post, Hope it clear

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Exactly an opinion I expressed @ a different forum.

How did we get here?

Initially only Caucasian expartriates were the victims, later any oyibo-like person was a candidate for kidnap.

Then, kidnapping oyibos was a popular theme for jokes and comedy.

Now, we all are potential victims.

Colombia of the 90s will be child's play if the authorities don't do something real fast.

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Newbie

Kidnapping is Mends true legacy to Nigeria, they have made us like those south american republics

it is so scary, because any jobless riffraff who happens to live in your neighborhood may decide to kidnap your kids for christmas money.

back when i was growing up home invasions were the crime of choice - but with second hand goods everywhere, they aren't lucrative anymore - today its the reign of kidnappers

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if only they can face Govt officials alone.

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Pls how do i post a topic on nairaland

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Newbie

no body dey safe including u & u & u.

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Newbie

Nigerians are not safe, with or without the kidnappings!!

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security in 9ja has remained a mirage so far.

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Newbie

Nigerians are not safer

never been safe anyway

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