Kidnapping: Young professionals face extinction in Nigeria – Victim
Posted by News Express | 7 April 2021 | 377 times
By AHMED MUSA
The rising wave of kidnapping on Nigerian roads and forests is said to be endangering the lives of young professionals in the country, threatening to either wipe them out or making the prospect of emigrating to other countries more attractive than before.
The situation according to a victim who relived his ordeal in a chat with Daily Independent, has degenerated into a demographic profiling by the hoodlums who lay siege on Nigerian roads to identify young professionals and separate them from other victims.
Speaking anonymously on his recent experience in the hands of kidnappers, the young professional who works with a top commercial bank in the country said government’s inability to curb kidnapping and other violent crimes is hampering socio-economic development efforts in the country.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the menace of kidnapping is threatening development efforts in Nigeria, especially in the rural communities. When it all started, the high and mighty in the society were always the prime target. But in recent time, the tide has changed as all manner of persons are now at risk of being kidnapped.
“The nation’s high way are no longer safe as professionals are the most hit. The incident of January 2, 2021 along the Enugu–Port Harcourt road when I was kidnapped in a commando style readily comes to mind. One Chinedu Zephaniah was also a victim of such kidnap on August 14, 2020”, he said.
According to victim who doesn’t want his name in prints for security reasons, many such committed professionals who execute assignments around the rural areas believe that if nothing is done fast, their peers will no longer be interested in risking their lives and travelling to the hinterland of the country participating in development efforts of the government.
He said: “Reports of both ordeals of August 14, 2020 and January 2, 2021 from several news sources paint a picture of a NAZI camp of the World War 2 era. Military styled ambush of moving vehicles, abduction of the driver and other occupants of the vehicle by four men who emerged from the nearby bush. Sporadic shootings on the vehicle etc.”
“One of the kidnapped victims narrated his ordeal as “when we stepped into the forest, there were another four masked men, all in black. A total of 8 kidnappers; five with AK 47, 2 with short guns and another 2 with cutlasses pruning trees as we all ran in a single file through farmlands initially and then into a thick forest.
“After 30 minutes of running, they stopped and allowed the three of us abducted to catch our breath for a few minutes, then we took off now walking briskly on narrow tracks. We were instructed to only step on grass through the tracks to avoid leaving our footprints on the sand. At about 7pm we stopped again to rest for about an hour before setting out for another 4 hours to the thickest part of the forest where we all slept till the next day. We were all beaten mercilessly. I had injuries. It was a walk “through the valley of the shadow of death”.
Recall that similar experiences abound of kidnapping especially along the major highways in the country. The Kaduna–Abuja road, the Okene–Lokoja–Abuja road among others which have become so notorious in recent years.
The victim further noted that travelers on the road also recount tales of woes especially during the Christmas holiday.
He said one of such travelers, who had a near encounter with Kidnappers on December 26, recalled saying: “While travelling from Abuja to Okene, we came across stranded families. We saw wife and children along the road whose father had just been kidnapped. We also saw soldiers chasing the kidnappers into the bush. We were lucky to have escaped them”.
“But in Kaduna state, the Chairman of the Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria and his wife were not that lucky as the kidnappers stormed their house and took them away. An unidentified man in Ihiala, Imo state was gruesomely murdered by unknown persons. Across the land, the story has been the same, compounding the security challenges in the country. Development experts believe that if the government fail to take concrete steps to address the menace, the impact on the Nigerian economy will be devastating”, the victim further warned. (Daily Independent)