IMPLICATIONS OF KIDNAPPING ON NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: CASE STUDY OF NIGER DELTA CRISES (1999-2009)

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IMPLICATIONS OF KIDNAPPING ON NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: CASE STUDY OF NIGER DELTA CRISES (1999-2009)

 

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is a state under perpetual internal security threat from various ethno-religious militias or political insurgents. At a more general level the threat has social, economic, political and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions, singly and conjointly, greatly affects the nation’s stability and wellbeing. Threats to national security can be said to range from the menace of separatist demands, militancy, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery and a host of other crimes which has negatively affected the security situation of the society. (Praeger; Newyork, 1990.) Kidnapping has overtime become endemic in the Nigerian society especially in the Niger delta region. It is fast becoming a lucrative alternative to armed robbery and other related offence. The gravity of kidnapping is so intense that it has virtually affected most persons in our society and has grossly undermined the security of the country. The current dimension of kidnapping became noticeable in the Niger Delta region when militants in February 2006 abducted some oil workers, obviously to get global attention to the dire situation and need in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country, the victims were mostly foreigners. Since then the social problem of kidnapping has increased geometrically in most parts of the country, especially in the south-eastern and south southern regions of the country. The targets are no longer foreigners alone; practically every Nigerian is now a target. On the hind sight, however, it is now on record that the former Governor of Anambra State was kidnapped in July 10, 2003 by his fellow political party members who were in opposition with him (Emewu & Anyanwu, 2009). Arguably, therefore, kidnapping is not actually new in the area; but the current lucrative ransom demanding strategy has become a serious social problem for the Government and people of Nigeria. For instance, in the year 2008 Nigeria was placed sixth on the global kidnap index
by an online tourism site. This rating puts the country Nigeria among countries with serious kidnapping problems like Philippines, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and Mexico (Ujumadu, 2008; Ekpe, 2009). Such report could serve as an assumption due to lack of accurate statistical data. Also Ekpe, (2009) reported that Nigeria recorded 512 cases of kidnapping and 30 dead persons in kidnappers’ den that year as against 353 cases recorded throughout 2008. Kidnapping cases in southern Nigeria and particularly the Niger delta region have been ravaging the country and greatly exposed the security shortcomings of the country. The safety of persons in Nigeria and their properties cannot be guaranteed. Kidnapping is a criminal offence punishable by the law in Nigeria.
Anybody caught involved in the act is expected to face a penalty of 10years imprisonment. Nigerians and non Nigerians residing in the country are living in fear as regards who will be the next kidnap victim, since kidnappers spare no one as far as their motives are actualized. Over the last few years, the wealthy and the income earners have been picked up by kidnappers who only free their victims after payments of ransom. Old people as well as children between the ages of two and five years have been taken hostage. The incident of kidnapping has affected Nigeria’s image as a nation abroad. It has also affected
Nigeria’s attempt to develop a viable tourism industry as visitors are regularly warned by their countries to be wary of coming to Nigeria. Many would-be investors have also stayed away for fears of being kidnapped (Ekpe, 2009).

 

 

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IMPLICATIONS OF KIDNAPPING ON NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: CASE STUDY OF NIGER DELTA CRISES (1999-2009)

 

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