Almost everyday in Nigeria, one person or several persons are reportedly missing. Most times, the victims are students and at other times, road travelers. Kidnapping in Nigeria has now become both a national and international matter of concern. This article highlights five ways to prevent kidnapping in Nigeria.
On the 26th of February 2021, 317 school girls were reportedly kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Zamfara. The 20th of April, 2021, saw the kidnap of at least 20 students and 2 staff of the Greenfield University. Also on July 8, 2021, 121 students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School were reportedly kidnapped by bandits from their hostels.
These are just few out of numerous kidnap cases which show how terrible kidnapping is. Sadly, some of these victims have been killed and many others are still held captive. One question is paramount in the minds of people who care. How can kidnapping in Nigeria be prevented?
5 ways to prevent kidnapping in Nigeria
Corrupt people in government should be dealt with
Some bandits who were either caught or had repented, claimed to be sponsored by people in government. How true this maybe is somewhat difficult to judge. However, there’s no smoke without a fire. If truly, people in government sponsor banditry and by extension, kidnapping, then that is outright corruption. Such people should be dealt with and removed from office. If bandits no longer get support from corrupt government and security officials, their cause will die a natural death.
The government should ensure its citizens are educated
Many bandits or terrorists are largely uneducated. This has led to their being unqualified for the available legal jobs in the country. Then, such people turn to vices. Had they been properly schooled, they would have gotten jobs which in turn would make them useful to the society.
Education broadens one’s horizon. It also makes them see things from an intellectual perspective. Had those who engaged in kidnapping activities for religious reasons been educated, they most likely won’t be involved in such. Instead, they would be seeking for solutions to the numerous problems of mankind.
The government should provide employment opportunities for the youth
Most of these kidnappers or bandits are youths. They have no jobs to keep them busy and actively useful. Rather than eke out a honest living which might pay little, they prefer to make it big. Many youths have studied Nigeria and decided that only the wealthy can really enjoy the little the country has to offer. Hence the aspiration to “make it big”.
While some turn to armed robbery, cyber crime or fraud, some decide to kidnap people and ransom them for money. If they had been provided for by the government in terms of employment, they probably wouldn’t get involved in such.
Security officials should be well trained, well paid, disciplined and furnished with ample weaponry to prevent kidnapping in Nigeria
Some kidnapping cases are clearly the work of terrorists. An example is the kidnap of Chibok girls in 2014 by the Boko Haram sect. In cases like this, security forces can be deployed to deal with the matter. Unfortunately, the Nigerian Police Force and even the Nigerian Army amongst others are another matter entirely.
Most Nigerian security officials are now corrupt. In some cases, members of the Police Force and shockingly, the Army have reportedly helped these bandits and terrorists. Such actions boil down to indiscipline and corruption which the government should work on. Some officials who have a lot of dependents are not well paid and so, decide to make a ‘little more cash’ by selling ammunition to bandits. Sometimes, they even join them in perpetrating these acts.
Another sad side to this whole thing is that most times, the security officials are not at fault. It’s no news that Nigerian security officials lack weaponry with which to combat terrorists or bandits. In fact, these bandits are reported to have better weaponry than the Army. Why is this so?
The legal and judicial system should be reformed
The legal and judicial system in Nigeria need a total makeover. The judiciary should ensure strict compliance to the laws related to kidnapping. Offenders should be severely punished and disgraced in the public. While some might still be hard hearted, it will serve as a deterrent for other would be kidnappers.
Kidnapping is a major problem in Nigeria and is a national security challenge. If we all work towards preventing kidnapping in Nigeria however, kidnapping can become a thing of the past.