Over the weekend, Nollywood actress Nkiru Sylvanus was kidnapped in Imo State. “Sylvanus who is also a Senior Special Assistant to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha on Public Affairs, was kidnapped in Owerri. The kidnappers have contacted the Imo State government and are demanding a ransom of N100million.” This Day discusses Nigeria’s Untamed Business of Kidnapping.
As the Yuletide approaches, there seems to be an upsurge in the spate of kidnapping in many parts of the country. Security agencies have attributed this to the desperation of criminally-minded people to make money at all cost so as to get something to flaunt during the season. Olawale Olaleye, Ademola Adeyemo, Omololu Ogunmade, Shola Oyeyipo, Anayo Okolie, Ayodele Opiah and Nkiruka Okoh examine this growing malady in the quest for a safer nation
For Nigeria’s security agencies, this is no doubt, a most trying period. It is bad enough that efforts to curb terrorism in different parts of the country, especially in the North have not stopped the Boko Haram insurgency. However, the rising cases of kidnapping and the mode of operations of kidnappers have further compounded the challenges facing the security agents.
Although the menace of terrorism, either by accident or design, appears restricted to certain parts of the country, the orgy of kidnapping knows no bound. Across the different parts of Nigeria, the fear of being kidnapped is the beginning of being security conscious by high profile targets and their family members. It does not matter who is involved; with a reliable insider, a kidnap operation is executed successfully and in most cases, the criminals smile to the bank.
Unfortunately, what started in the Niger Delta region during the militancy era has become a booming venture in all parts of the country. This is particularly made worse by the inability of security agencies to effectively check the incidence. In some cases, family members of kidnapped victim do not help the situation. Out of fear of losing their loved ones, they are sometimes reluctant in giving security agents a free hand to investigate the case. They are more often than not, ready to pay ransom because of the desire to rescue the captives alive and keep such deals classified.
The desperation of families to secure the release of the victims has emboldened the kidnappers who know they could coerce the cooperation of victims’ families to keep the security agents off their trail. For them, no place is hallowed and no security provided for a target is enough deterrence to stop them from striking.
The scenario painted above aptly depicts what happened penultimate Sunday when gunmen invaded the palace of His Majesty, Professor Chukwuka Aninshi Okonjo Agbogidi, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom in Delta State and abducted his wife, Professor Kamene Okonjo, mother of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. . .”
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