HomeNewsKidnappers Kill Three, Demand N700m for Abuja Girls' Release

Kidnappers Kill Three, Demand N700m for Abuja Girls’ Release

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The Nigerian capital, Abuja, is gripped by fear and anger as kidnappers continue to terrorize residents and demand huge ransoms for their victims.

The latest incident involved the abduction of six young girls from their family home in the Bwari Area Council on January 3, 2024. The kidnappers killed three of them, including a secondary school student and the daughter of a top official at the National University Commission, and dumped their bodies along a road in Kaduna State.

The kidnappers have reportedly raised their ransom demand from N60 million to N100 million per person, totaling N700 million for the remaining three girls.

The police have vowed to rescue the girls and arrest the bandits, but many Nigerians are losing faith in the security agencies and the government.

 

A Wave of Violence

The abduction of the girls is not an isolated case. It is part of a wave of violence that has swept across Nigeria in recent years, especially in the northern and central regions.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, more than 8,000 people were killed by violent actors in Nigeria in 2023, with over 2,000 of them in the first quarter of 2024 alone.

The perpetrators include Islamist insurgents, such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), who have waged a decade-long war against the state and civilians in the northeast.

They also include armed groups, often referred to as bandits, who have exploited the security vacuum and the socio-economic grievances in the northwest and north-central zones to carry out kidnappings, cattle rustling, and attacks on villages and highways.

The victims of these crimes are mostly poor and vulnerable people, such as farmers, traders, travelers, and students. However, in some cases, the bandits have also targeted high-profile individuals, such as politicians, businessmen, and civil servants, to extort huge ransoms from them or their families.

 

A Failure of Governance

Many Nigerians blame the government for failing to protect them and address the root causes of the insecurity.

They accuse the authorities of being incompetent, corrupt, and indifferent to the plight of the masses. They also criticize the security forces for being ill-equipped, underfunded, and overstretched.

Some Nigerians have resorted to self-help measures, such as forming vigilante groups, hiring private guards, or arming themselves, to defend their lives and property.

Others have called for dialogue and negotiation with the bandits, arguing that the use of force alone cannot solve the problem.

Some have even suggested that the government should grant amnesty and offer incentives to the bandits, as it did with the Niger Delta militants in the past, to persuade them to lay down their arms and embrace peace.

However, these proposals have been met with skepticism and opposition by many Nigerians, who see them as rewarding criminality and encouraging impunity.

 

A Hope for Change

Despite the grim situation, some Nigerians still hope for a change in the country’s security and governance.

They pointed out the efforts of some state governors, civil society groups, and religious leaders, who have initiated peacebuilding and development programs in the affected areas.

They also look forward to the 2025 general elections, which they hope will bring in new and better leaders, who will tackle the insecurity and other challenges facing the nation.

They urged the government and the security agencies to act swiftly and decisively to rescue the abducted girls and restore law and order in the country.

Source: Punch 

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