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KIDNAPPING IN NORTHERN NIGERIA By Omar Muaz

Written by Editor

Nigeria, more especially North, isn’t safe for a living. kidnapping has been ravaging the country to ashes and only few among political leaders give the heinous acts a face. To check the other antenna, Nigerians differ not a wingless bird in a cage; it sees its future but doesn’t have the wings to enable its fly. The feeling of hopelessness given to Nigerians has a strong link with the ongoing felonies; kidnapping and other criminal offenses as banditry. According to some people’s way of thinking, President Muhammadu Buhari is the problem of Nigeria and that; I derive no pleasure in filing a standpoint of it.

Without overfeeding the public with less important paragraphs, let me dive into the ocean of wherefores North, by extension Nigeria, is a hell for its settlers. Historically, there were fourteen kingdoms that unified the diverse lore and heritage of Northern Nigeria into a cohesive ethnology-historical system. Northern Nigeria & nbsp; was an autonomous division within & nbsp; Nigeria, distinctly different from the Southern part of the country, with independent customs, foreign relations and security structures. (Ado, 2003)

Kidnapping is a crime of taking somebody away illegally and keeping them as a prisoner, especially in order to get money or something else for returning them (Oxford Dictionary). Kidnapping is a crime of unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or & nbsp; Fraud, & nbsp; or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time (Legal Dictionary). As kidnapping means taking of a person against his/her will (or from the control of a parent or guardian) from one place to another under circumstances in which the person so taken does not have freedom of movement, will, or decision through violence, force, threat or intimidation. Although it is not necessary that the purpose be criminal (since all kidnapping is a criminal felony) the capture usually involves some related criminal act such as holding the person for ransom, sexual and/or sadistic abuse, or rape. & nbsp; Originally it meant the stealing of children, since “kid” is child in Scandinavian languages, but now applies to adults as well.

Kidnapping is a serious crime and has transformed into other felonious offenses such as; physical violence, financial victimization and murder. Kidnapping is on the increase and it is prevalent across all the geopolitical zones. Although kidnapping refers to the abduction and captivity of a person, typically to obtain a ransom. Sometimes kidnappers hold their captives longer in order to demand more money from the victim’s relatives or associates. It is a wicked act (Mike, 2020). In Nigeria, it is more dreadful compared to the definition given to it as some kidnapping cases are done without the need for ransom.

In the Northern Nigeria, thousands of innocent people were killed; mosques and churches were burnt down to ashes; and not less than two hundred and fifty thousand people left Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad and Niger —out of the nbsp; 2.3 million & nbsp;displaced people in totality from 2013 to date—as a result of Boko Haram insurgency. As reported, almost 67% of the people fled to our neighboring countries were Northerners. However, today, when we talk about insecurity in this country, the first thing we often raise is our fear of being kidnapped specifically and crime more generally. The abduction of Kankara school boys has made it clearer that not merely the elites, the masses too are not safe and that government are not making any move to ensure safety of its citizens. The abduction of students of Government Boys Science Secondary School in the Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State by unknown individuals is an indication that the nation and government has not learnt from the unfortunate incidents of abduction of 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in Borno State in 2014 and another set of 110 girls at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College. Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018 (Dr. Hussain, 2020).

The consequences of kidnapping isn’t just living in phobia of being kidnapped or paying ransoms. In addition, child sexual abuse as a result of kidnapping exposes child to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Another guise form of sexual molestation of kidnapped children is that the abducted under age victims are often subjected to forced marriage with older husbands (Clerk, 2004).

It is high time Nigerian security stood firmly to tackle this issue, for it’s deadlier than a pandemic and it guarantees none of us a long and peaceful life expectancy. Nigeria kidnapping rate was at level of 0.3 cases per 100,000 population in 2013, down from 0.4 cases per 100,000 population previous year, this is a change of 6.96% and statistically,& nbsp; Nigeria & nbsp;records more than 1,000 & nbsp;kidnapping incidents a year, and there are undoubtedly many & nbsp;that are unreported (Catlin Group, 2012) with more cases in the North. The escalation of the kidnapping cases is unbelievable as it’s gone viral on every National and International broadcasting stations and social media the hundreds of Kankara school boys who were kidnapped in December, 2020.

Nigeria has a large number of adolescents living and making a living in the streets. This has been attributed to economic factors and exposures to all forms of risks (Ibrahim & Mukhtar, 2016). So, I can say in Nigeria, political factors, poverty, lack of legal/available employment opportunity among the youths are also playing fundamental role in the rise of kidnapping. It has been an open to question among Nigerians whether the abduction of the Kankara school boys was a sponsored crime to embarrass the President who, few hours to the incident, landed for a vocation. We have very little choice, in my opinion; it’s not important to keep on arguing on the mission of the abduction but how to curtail the problem of insecurity that has been dragging us back economically, politically and socially.

Nigerian government should come up with poverty alleviation programmes and employment opportunities, targeting youths who are mostly involved in abductions and kidnapping out of economic frustration such as unemployment; fight insurgency; law enforcement agents meant for anti-human trafficking shall intensify surveillance on the fight against kidnapping—they shall be receiving special trainings on how to identify victims of kidnapping and be able to take them from the kidnappers without them being hurt and finally; self-help groups should be formed to offer peer counseling on how to avoid being kidnapped or offer therapeutic lessons for primary and secondary victims of kidnappings (Mukhtar, 2017).

Writer: Omar Muaz
Email: muazuumar45@gmail.com

Reference:

Catlin Group (2012). Kidnap and ransom today. A report by Catlin Group Limited.

Bello, I. & Jamilu, I, M. (2016-2017). An Analysis of the Causes and Consequences of Kidnapping in Nigeria. African Research Review. An International Multi-disciplinary Journal, Ethiopia.

Oxford English Dictionary

About the author

Editor

Bada Yusuf Amoo holds B.A in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, he is the publisher of thespeakingheart.com. He started the website in 2015, he has published both his works and other budding writers and poets on the website. He is a public commentators and his articles are on different websites.