RADIO ADVOCACY AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST KIDNAPPING IN RIVERS STATE
1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The concept of radio broadcasting in Nigeria is completely at variance with the idea of kidnapping. Radio broadcasting started as an
initiative of the colonial government in 1932, and for sixty years remained solely in the hands of government. Radio stations disseminated
government messages to the audience and not much more: they carried no messages from the audience to the government and, save for
request programs and a few other such programs, they carried no messages from one segment of the audience to another. Nigeria in
recently has encountered an unprecedented level of insecurity. This resulted to the threat of national security as a major issue for the
government and has prompted large allocation of the country’s budget to security. In order to curb the problems of crime, the Nigerian
government has embarked on criminalization of terrorism by issuing the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2011, having the Computer-based Closed
Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) installed in some parts of the country, improvement of surveillance as well as investigation of criminal
related offences, heightening of physical security measures around the country aimed at deterring or disrupting potential attacks,
strengthening of security agencies through the provision of security facilities and the development and broadcast of security tips in mass
media (Azazi, 2011). Despite these efforts, the level of kidnapping in the country is still on a high scale. Also, Nigeria has effectively ranked
low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), showing a dead state of insecurity in the country. Hence, Adagba, et al (2012), Uhunmwuangho
and Aluforo (2011) are of the view that the efforts of government have not yielded enough positive result. Apparently, the security condition
in Nigeria seems or at least have proved insurmountable and many people have aimed that government at all levels has not done
anything tangible by not confronting the situation head on and dealing with it decisively, others have argued that the situation has a
political undertone or inclination calculated to serve the interest of certain political gods, who have been dissatisfied and disgruntled about
the political manifestations in the country. Kidnapping has become endemic in the Nigerian society. It is fast becoming a lucrative
alternative to armed robbery offence. The magnitude of insecurity is so great that it has practically affected most persons in our country.
The current level of kidnapping became terrifying in the Niger Delta region when militants in February 2006 took custody of some oil
workers, apparently to draw global attention to the dire condition in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country, the victims were mostly
foreigners. Since then the social problem of kidnapping has spread like wild-fire in most parts of the country, especially in the south-eastern
region. The focuses are no more on foreigners alone; practically every Nigerian is now a target. On the hind sight, however, it is observed
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). Plausibly, therefore, kidnapping is not really new in the society; but the current tangible ransom
demanding strategy has become a definite social problem for the Government and people of Nigeria. For example, Nigeria was placed sixth
on the global kidnap index by an online tourism site in the year 2008. This rating placed the country Nigeria among countries with serious
kidnapping issues, behind Philippines, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and Mexico (Ujumadu, 2008; Ekpe, 2009). Report of such could serve as
an assumption due to lack of exact 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. Similarly, Kyrian 2009 also reported that the former
Inspector General of Police in Nigeria had noted that, kidnappers and hostage takers got 15 million in ransom (about 100 million) between
2006 and 2009. Kidnapping cases in southern Nigeria have been ravaging daily incidents. The protection of persons in Nigeria and their
properties cannot be ascertained. The offence of Kidnapping is punishable by the law in Nigeria. Whoever caught involved in the act is made
to face a penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Apart from the above observation some States like Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Imo,
Ebonyi, and Rivers have passed into law a bill termed “Prohibition of Hostage Taking and Related Offences Law”
with death penalty as
punishment for oenders(Inyang, 2009; Ekpe, 2009). Meanwhile, bills with capital punishment against kidnapping are awaiting subsequent
readings for implementation by the National Assembly. Unfortunately despite all these stringent laws, no reported case of kidnapping has
been successfully prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other potential kidnappers. Nigerians and non Nigerians residing in the country are
living in fear as regards who will be the next victim, since kidnappers spare no one as far as their motives are achieved. 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 cases of kidnapping has stained Nigeria’s
image as a nation abroad. It has also hindered Nigeria’s effort to develop a viable tourism industry as visitors are regularly warned by their
countries to be wary of coming to Nigeria. A lot of would-be investors have also deviated for fears of being abducted (Ekpe, 2009). Apart
from the above evidence which is observable, many more problems which are associated with the problem of kidnapping will be unraveled
during the cause of this research. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to examine radio advocacy and the campaign against
kidnapping in rivers state.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Kidnapping has been ideological with a surplus application of ransom approach and ritual mission in some instances. Globally, kidnapping
needs a more robust approach using not only the powers of gun, but combining the powers of ideological apparatus to conquer or subdue
the spread of the ideology through awareness creation. Scholars have no doubt developed interest in the activities of the kidnappers.
Commercialization otherwise the ‘let them pay’ policy has hindered media campaigns specifically for the fight against kidnapping. This is so
because the Nigerian media (public and private owned) depend solely on the sales of airtime for the daily running of the organizations. In
Spite of these challenges, the Nigerian media have continued to take part in creating awareness on the heinous activities of the group and
the need to support security agencies defeat the common enemy. However, there is no known analysis to evaluate these radio campaigns
specifically geared towards the fight against kidnapping. Premised on this insufficiency, the study set out to ascertain and assess the radio
advocacy and the campaign against kidnapping in Rivers state.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine radio advocacy and the campaign against kidnapping in Nigeria, other specific objectives of the
To examine the state of radio advocacy and campaign against kidnapping in Nigeria.
To examine the security challenges in Nigeria.
To examine the impact of radio advocacy on campaign against kidnapping in rivers state
To examine the eectiveness and relevance of using radio advocacy in campaign against kidnapping in rivers state
To examine the relationship between radio advocacy and campaign against kidnapping in rivers state.
To examine the causes of kidnapping and proer solutions to the problem of kidnapping in Nigeria
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of this research will be of immense important to the entire media organizations and the Nigerian Armed Forces in particular. It
will give an empirical data to the military, who have been taking the lead in the de-radicalization process so as to enhance the program. The
identification of the content and themes of the messages will help the media build on a more persuading, ethically considerable campaigns
that can change or counter the narrative. Also, it is hopeful that this study will give insight to the military and other stakeholders on the
importance of media in tackling armed conflict like the kidnapping.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to radio advocacy and the campaign against kidnapping in rivers state.
- LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or
information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on
the time devoted for the research work.
RADIO ADVOCACY AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST KIDNAPPING IN RIVERS STATE