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Between July 2022 and June 2023, a staggering 3,620 individuals were abducted in more than 582 incidents of kidnapping across the nation. These incidents demanded ransoms totaling a minimum of N5 billion. Shockingly, the actual payments made for ransom exceeded N302 million, a number that could potentially be higher due to underreporting.

 

An intelligence report by SB Morgan, titled “Unveiling Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry Economics:

Tracing the Financial Trails,” was made public on August 23, 2023. This comprehensive report revealed the aforementioned statistics.

Despite the distressing scenario, both the Nigeria Police Force and the military high command, namely the Defence Headquarters, have maintained a disconcerting silence. Meanwhile, security experts are urging the Office of the National Security Adviser, which is now led by the former Chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AIG Nuhu Ribadu (retd.), to declare a state of emergency to address this alarming issue.

 

Amid the backdrop of Nigeria grappling with security challenges across its six geopolitical zones, various groups such as Boko Haram, Islamic States of West Africa, Ansar terrorists, bandits, sea pirates, armed separatist agitators including the Independent People of Biafra, and other violent factions are engaging in the disturbing practice of kidnapping for ransom. This is transpiring amidst the backdrop of a struggling economy, escalating inflation, and soaring unemployment rates.

 

Tragically, both security personnel and kidnappers themselves suffered losses, with 19 security agents and 121 kidnappers losing their lives. Regrettably, the inability of security agencies to effectively curb this escalating menace is evident, as even the deaths of kidnappers have not dissuaded potential abductors.

 

 

SOURCE: PUNCH NEWS

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