Volume 9 Number 2 June 2023

Kidnapping for Ransom: Nigeria’s Flourishing Industry, but Worst Nightmare

Authors: James E. Archibong
Pages: 18-25
Kidnapping for ransom is a worldwide phenomenon and Nigeria is not an exception. The problem, now endemic, is a phenomenal substitute for robbery, and one of Nigeria’s biggest challenges. Nigeria today tops the global scale of kidnapping for ransom cases, with 2,371 incidents recorded in the initial six months of 2021. The victims include foreign workers, school children, traditional rulers, clergymen, politicians, and ordinary Nigerians. Apart from the physical, psychological and hysterical impact on victims, it has adversely impacted the economy. The paper examines factors behind the upsurge and the government’s inability to arrest the drift. It has been established that crime is fuelled by a plethora of economic, social, political, and security-related factors, principally unemployment, poverty, and the availability of small arms. Given the current spate of kidnapping and the helplessness of the government, Nigeria is at a crossroads, facing a monster that can consume it anytime. It is recommended that the government should adopt policies to end official corruption, alleviate poverty and fight unemployment. It should also create a responsible and well-motivated security apparatus to tackle kidnapping, in addition to stiff punishment to serve as deterrence.