A disturbing surge in kidnappings is sweeping across Nigeria, transcending the traditional hotspots and infiltrating major cities. Criminal elements, once confined to highways and rural areas, are now escalating their attacks in urban centres, with Ogun, Lagos, Abuja, and other cities falling prey to this alarming trend.
The grim toll of this epidemic was underscored by the tragic killing of four victims from Sagwari Estate Layout in Dutsen-Alhaji, Bwari Area Council, Abuja. Bandits demanding a staggering N700 million ransom for seven abducted family members, including two sisters, escalated their brutality by murdering a 400-level student, Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, sparking nationwide outrage.
As the nation grapples with these horrors, the Al-Kadriyar family’s plea for financial support to secure the release of their remaining captive members highlights the desperate measures families are forced to take. The devastating loss of a 13-year-old victim, Folashade Ariyo, and the ruthless killing of two unidentified hostages near Idah junction in Kaduna State further deepen the tragedy.
The scale of this abduction crisis is staggering, with over 9,754 reported fatalities and 4,049 abduction cases recorded nationwide in 2023. The geographic spread reveals a grim reality, with the North-East topping the list in fatalities and the North-West leading in abductions. Urgent calls for intervention echo from bereaved families, the First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, and political figures like Atiku Abubakar, underscoring the imperative for decisive action to curb this menacing wave of insecurity.