Everybody Has A Part To Play In Stopping Kidnapping In Abuja
By Adewole Kehinde
“Happiness has many roots, but none more important than security,” – E.R. Stettinius, Jr.
Kidnapping was virtually unknown in Nigeria before 1999 but following the country’s shift from military to civilian rule, tensions between the residents of the oil-rich Niger Delta and the oil companies operating there began to rise over concerns about the environment and the dearth of basic social amenities.
Around the Niger Delta, certain criminal elements began kidnapping people for illicit purposes around 2007 or 2008. From this point on, the issue spread to other regions of Nigeria, with the Southeast currently seeing the most impact.
Nowadays, kidnapping has become Nigeria’s top security concern. There are three main reasons why terrorists affiliated with Boko Haram operate in the northeastern regions of the country. They put some of the prisoners to death to show how vicious they are and could be.
Usually, the summary executions are captured on camera and shared publicly on social media. To achieve their political goals—most notably the release of some of their comrades who are detained—they also participate in kidnapping. Financing their operations is the third justification for participating in the kidnapping. In the most recent instance, they kidnap individuals and demand ransom payments from the government or their relatives to free them.
Abuja has maintained relative peace for years despite Nigeria struggling to stem a range of insecurity problems, especially in the central, northwestern, and northeastern regions.
The issue of kidnapping is a serious concern in the FCT, and addressing it requires a concerted effort from law enforcement, government agencies, and the community.
The latest was the abduction of Alhaji Mansoor Al-Kadriyar and his six children on Tuesday night in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.
Information in the media said that Alhaji Mansoor’s brother, Abdulfatai, who led policemen to foil their abduction, was shot dead by the bandits.
On Friday, the bandit killed one of the abducted persons, identified as Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, after failing to pay an N60 million ransom.
Here are some ways that police and authorities can work to nip kidnapping in the bud:
Strong intelligence and surveillance: Police need to gather intelligence on known kidnapping operations and suspects. Using advanced technology and collaborating with other security agencies can help improve surveillance and tracking of criminal activities.
Rapid response units: Establishing specialised units with the capacity for rapid response to reported kidnapping incidents can help increase the chances of rescuing victims and apprehending perpetrators.
Community engagement: Building trust and collaboration with local communities is vital. Police can work with community leaders, neighbourhood watch groups, and residents to gather information and intelligence on potential kidnapping activities.
Public awareness campaigns: Educating the public about the dangers of kidnapping and providing guidance on safety measures can help prevent individuals from falling victim to such crimes.
Collaboration with international agencies: Coordinating with international law enforcement agencies and sharing information on transnational criminal networks involved in kidnapping can help address the issue at a global level.
Professional training and equipment: Providing police officers with the necessary training and modern equipment to combat kidnapping effectively is essential.
It is important to note that the issue of kidnapping requires a multifaceted approach that involves addressing systemic issues such as poverty, unemployment, and access to education and healthcare.
By working together with various stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organisations, and the private sector, the police can contribute to the prevention and reduction of kidnapping in Nigeria.
Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org