Friday 19 May 2023

Kidnapped Ekiti Farmers Released After Paying N1m Ransom and Food Items

Two farmers who were abducted by unknown gunmen in Ikere-Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Monday have finally regained their freedom after paying a total of N1 million ransom and giving some food items to their captors.

The farmers, identified as Ojo Tope and Sesan Smart, were working on their farm along Ikere-Iju road when they were kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location.

According to a family member of one of the victims, they were released on Thursday evening along the Ipele-Owo area in Ondo State after each of them paid N500,000 to the kidnappers.

He said: “They also collected a pack of cigarettes, a pack of milk, bread, and a recharge card before they let them go. You can see the situation of things in our state and the audacity of the bandits to be demanding food items and other materials. Only God can save us here”.

The family member also said that the victims had reunited with their families and were receiving medical attention.

Kidnapping has become a rampant and lucrative crime in Nigeria, affecting people from all walks of life.

According to a report by SB Morgen, a Nigerian consulting firm, over $18 million had been paid in ransom between 2011 and 2021. The report also shows that kidnapping has spread from the oil-rich Niger Delta region to the entire country and that the army is now stationed in almost every Nigerian state to maintain order.

In March 2020, two Nigerian footballers were kidnapped and released shortly after, though it is not clear if a ransom was paid. In 2018, the captain of Nigeria’s national football team learned that his father had been kidnapped hours before a world cup match.

The Nigerian government has been struggling to contain the security challenges posed by kidnapping and other forms of violence, such as insurgency, banditry, and communal clashes. Many Nigerians live in fear of being abducted or attacked by criminals who often operate with impunity.

The recent mass kidnappings of schoolchildren by armed groups have also raised concerns about the safety of education and the future of the country.

According to The Washington Post, more than 800 students have been kidnapped from their schools since December 2022. Some of them have been released after negotiations or interventions by security forces, while others are still in captivity.

The menace of kidnapping in Nigeria has serious constitutional implications, as it violates the fundamental rights of citizens to life, dignity, and freedom of movement as enshrined in Sections 33, 34, and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)3. It also undermines the rule of law, social justice, and national development.

There is an urgent need for the government and other stakeholders to address the root causes of kidnapping and other crimes in Nigeria, such as poverty, unemployment, corruption, inequality, and poor governance. There is also a need for effective law enforcement, intelligence gathering, prosecution, and prevention strategies to combat kidnapping and ensure the protection of lives and property.

No comments:

Post a Comment