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Kidnapping as a menace in Nigeria has many causes, effects and possible solutions through which it can be tackled.
In this write-up, the issue of kidnapping in Nigeria is our focal point.
Kidnapping according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is abducting and holding anybody captive, typically to obtain ransom.
Although the definition given by the dictionary is to obtain ransom, some modern day kidnappings have gone beyond that.
Some people these days kidnap for ritual purposes. In this type of kidnap, the kidnappers are not ready to accept any material or monetary benefit.
In Tanzania for example, in the year 2015, some albinos were kidnapped for ritual activities. This act of man’s inhumanity to man that took place in the country attracted a lot of reactions all over the world.
In Tanzania, witch doctors make use of albinos for witchcraft purposes. Albinism has become challenge in Tanzania.
In the past, the rich in Nigeria accumulate wealth which enables them some form of freedom and social security.
In this present time, the rich people are highly afraid to move freely without being assisted by security men because of the fear of being kidnapped.
Members of the political class in the country are also afraid of being kidnapped by the masses who may be bitter about the political manner with which they are handling the affairs of the state.
As some corrupt politicians in the country selfishly cart away the money which is mearnt to be used for societal development, kidnappers on the other hand busy themselves with plans on how to steal the politicians who embezzle the country’s financial resources.
The Boko Haram terrorist group is notable in Nigeria for notorious terrorist activities including the kidnap.
This group of terrorits have caused remarkable damage to the federal republic of Nigeria one of which is the kidnap of over 200 female students from a government secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria.
There have been reports on the rich and famous men and women in Nigeria who have been abducted by kidnappers in the country.
Documentation by various companies have shown that Pete Edochie a popular Nigerian Nollywood actor was once kidnapped by hoodlums.
Causes of kidnapping in Nigeria
Unemployment: Joblessness or unemployment is one of the root causes of kidnapping in Nigeria. Nigeria has very high unemployment rate. A news publication company, vanguard online news, reported on May 19, 2014, that an estimate of 60 millions Nigerians were unemployed. Unemployment in the country is one the major reasons why many Nigerian youths pick kidnapping as avenue to generate money which they use to establish themselves in the society. Unemployment is a global problem but Nigeria is one the countries that has it in high rating.
Poverty: Poverty is another factor that has been pushing many Nigerians into the kidnap business. A poor man needs money to keep life going and because of that can easily be convinced to venture into the field of kidnapping to make money and live above poverty line. A poor man is a hungry man and he needs resources to reduce and say no to his poverty challenges.
Corruption: Corruption is another drive of kidnapping in Nigeria. In the year 2014, Nigeria ranked 136 out of 174 on the list of the surveyed nation. Alongside Cameroon, Iran, Kyrzstan, Lebanon, and Russia. That is to say that Nigeria was the 38th corrupt country in the world in 2014 according to transparency international ranking.
Solutions to kidnapping in Nigeria
Amendment of state and federal law: The law of every countries is there to guide the people on what right to do and the wrong to abstain from. On the other hand, law can be amended when a new challenge comes-up in any country or state.
Employment generation: This should not be left for the government alone. All of us need to work together to close the gap between the rich and the poor in the country. If you are a rich man, employ your neighbor since you can help him out of that is unemployment state.
Kidnapping is global problem but that of Nigeria is now turning into a routine. The western countries are associated with kidnapping but today we practice it more than them.
Oyetayo Oladele is a student of Mass Communication at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State