No fewer than 1,570 Nigerians were kidnapped between January and November 2020 in 366 reported cases, Daily Trust investigation reveals.
The kidnappers raked in over N311 million from payment of ransom by relatives of their victims within this period, though they demanded over N6.9 billion from their victims. The money paid did not include millions of naira paid by some families who chose to keep quiet because of threats or simply to have their peace.
Daily Trust reports that there has been an upsurge in kidnapping in Nigeria with 41 cases reported in November.
The trend has spread to some tertiary institutions in Kaduna State while the Federal Capital Territory was also not spared with 31 reported cases in 11 months.
Major arteries including the Abuja-Kaduna and Abuja-Lokoja roads have turned to kidnappers’ hotspots, raising fears in commuters. The young and old have been victims.
From the seven-year-old boy kidnapped in Katsina for which N3m ransom was demanded, to the 60-year-old Zainab Musa kidnapped in Niger State, many Nigerians are living in fear of the unknown.
Security operatives were also kidnapped within the time under review. Among the victims were 12 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) seized in November, 10 Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officials and four officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were also kidnapped in September and February, respectively. An officer of the Department of State Security (DSS) was also kidnapped in September.
Daily Trust recalled that the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), governors of the North East, the Afenifere from the South West, among other groups and individuals have all expressed disgust over the deteriorating security situation in the North and the country at large.