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Opinion

Effects Of Kidnapping On Socio-Economic Development Of Nigeria ( A Study Of Southern Kaduna) -By Lukuman Tajuddeen

ABSTRACT

Kidnapping is one of the main security challenges facing Nigerians in recent time. Though it is not totally a new happening, yet, like a wild fire, it is adamantly increasing and assuming a terrible exception. Kidnapping in Nigeria was considered as a thing known to some specific regions of the state, extremely the Niger Delta region due to the actions of the militants. Unfortunately, currently hardly if there is a region of the nation that is not confronted with the danger of kidnapping thereby making it one of the most destructive organized crimes in Nigeria. This is known in the rampant of kidnapping cases being recorded and northwestern region (southern Kaduna in particular) being the hotspot of the kidnapping. Secondary sources of data were utilized to examine the effects of the kidnapping on socioeconomic development of Southern Kaduna. Structural-Functionalist Theory was employed as theoretical framework for the study. The study found that causes of kidnapping in the study area include but not limited to the lingering communal crisis, poverty, massive unemployment. Kidnapping has an adverse effect on socioeconomic development of Southern Kaduna study by driven away the potential global and national investors and it also badly affected the interpersonal relationship. Based on the findings of the study, therefore, stoppage of paying ransom to kidnapping, tackling the conflicts between farmers and cattle breeders in Southern Kaduna, creation of jobs for youth and serious penalty for those possessing illegal weapons are recommended to handled the upsurge of kidnapping.

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Kidnapping as a kind of businesslike offense is not a modern phenomenon. It is, historically, an old phenomenon traceable from ancient nations as it was discovered in the Holy books as the time of Prophet Joseph (peace be unto him) when he was kidnapped by his brothers many centuries back. Nevertheless, the term „kidnapping‟ is relatively a current which is asserted to have originated in the 17th century in the Great Britain where “children‟ of the noble families were “napped‟ (caught in the sleep)
for ransom (Tzanelli, 2006). Hence, while the incident of kidnapping is established as an ancient one, the modes and dimensions it takes are what gains currency and accounts for variations in its patterns as well as the diversity of its continuous occurrences over time and space. According to the NYA24‟s (2018) as cited in Ayuba, M. R. (2020), Asian
continent has the highest number of recorded kidnapping cases in the world, followed by continent of Africa , then Latin America, Middle East and Europe. While Africa was publicized to be the second continent witnessing the increased rate of kidnap for ransom cases, Nigeria occupies the second position as the state with the highest number of kidnapping incidents throughout the world. This rank positioned Nigeria in a political to the global system and by implications decreases its prospects and chances to develop attractive and conducive environment for both domestic investment and foreign direct investments (FDI).The world incidence of kidnapping tend to portray its prevalence in third world countries faced with internal disputes, poverty and other social problems. Therefore, there is evidently a connection and nexus between kidnapping and conflict, insurgency or terrorism (Wittig, 2018). This is extensively obvious in countries grappling with humanitarian crisis, particularly in most developing states in Africa. For example, The Global Slavery Index (2014) disclosed that, greater number of men, women and even children were kidnapped and held as slaves by ethnic militiamen in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report further showed that, in April and May of that the same year alone, 267 women and girls were sexually victimized by the armed militias.

In Nigeria, the issues of kidnapping have become recurrent incident making headlines of the country’s dailies. Although, kidnap for ransom came to be more confirmed in the country by early 2000s in the oil rich Niger Delta region by various communities protesting for what they described as marginalization and environmental injustice caused on them as a result of the oil exploration activities by the international companies in the area. Therefore, they deployed hostage taking of distinguished public officials and expatriates working in the international companies in the area as a means of attracting the attention of government and even global communities to their danger plights.

Consequently, a decade ago, one could safely maintain that kidnap for ransom was completely an element of the Niger Delta. However, the recent increased in abductions in northern part of Nigeria tends to change the narrative as it has assumed a frightening dimension thus attracting attentions of both local and global communities. Since 2009 when the activities of Boko Haram started to broaden in the north eastern Nigeria, unusual and hitherto
uncommon criminal activities in the region such as the kidnappings and abduction of minors began to assume a great magnitude and endangering socioeconomic development potentialities in the country. Consequently, by 2014 vast scale of kidnappings emerged, especially the kidnapping of secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria which drew in public attention. This occurrence indicated the advent of popular kidnappings in northern Nigeria, and since then numerous other kidnapping cases which include but not limited to the abductions of the former Controller- General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the current District head of Daura, Katsina state, the president’s home town, Alhaji Musa Uba, and the father of the Nigerian national teams captain, John Obi Mikel in 2018. A report by the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF, 2018) as cited in Ayuba, M. R, (2020), “from 2013 to 2018 more than 1,000 children had been abducted by the armed terrorists in the north east Nigeria including the widely publicized abductions of 276 Chibok girls and 113 in Bond and Yobe state respectively”. Also, this monument indicates only a portion of the happenings of kidnappings in the northern part of Nigeria as various cases leave unreported due to the volatility of the problem in the region and the inadequate media coverage. Presently, the north western Nigeria has particularly overtaken other areas of the
country in terms of the plague of kidnap for ransom. During the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers‟ Council, the Acting Inspector-General of Police revealed that 79.8% of the national aggregate of kidnappings was reported in the three northern geopolitical zones, with the North West being the hotspot, wherein 365 persons were
kidnapped in the early quarter of the year (Toromade, 2019) as cited in Ayuba, M.R. (2020).Simply like their counterparts in the Niger Delta who assaulted expatriates and locals working in the international companies in the region, the kidnappers in the north western Nigeria have made it traditional to kidnap not merely children and high-net-worth personalities but also the needy people, an act that has plunged the whole region into a state of intimidations and mistrust for both the rich and poor residents in the region. For a region that is already considered as the impoverished
and most educationally behind in Nigeria, the raised of kidnapping will only deepen the problem and further sink the region into serious insecurity challenges. The condition is entirely grave in Kaduna state regarding its geographical location and its closeness to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. The high rate at which kidnapping for ransom occurs in the state has taken a significant magnitude leaves much to be needed as both local and foreign nationals can be victim. The abduction of two German Archaeologists in 2017; the kidnapping of Nigeria’s former minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Bagudu are just few cases on point. It is relatively difficult to come up with a comprehensive list of the casualties of kidnapping for ransom in Kaduna state due to the regularity and commonness of its happening hardly
couple of days without a recorded case of kidnapping despite the several security measures and actions being adopted by the local, state and federal government.

STATEMENT OF the RESEARCH PROBLEM

The issue of kidnapping has notoriously changes Nigeria’s character as a country
internationally. It has similarly implicated Nigeria’s endeavor to establish a viable
tourism industry as foreigners are usually advised by their countries to be careful of coming to Nigeria currently, Kidnapping is assuming an alarming extent given way to unfavorable situation, loss of lives, money, risky atmosphere, and make security
terrible in Kaduna state particularly Southern parts of Kaduna state. The emergence and reoccurrences of kidnapping have become a basis of tension, anxiety and worrisome with hundreds of people from various socioeconomic level being kidnapped for ransom on day -to-day basis. The communities of Southern Kaduna are
no longer comfortable and protected in their homes, farmlands, roads, offices and the situation resulted in displacement of persons, lack of peace and harmony as well as the tensions for both local and foreign investors to invest in the area. This security challenges in the southern Kaduna have hindered the
socio -economic development. It is from above predicament this study intends to
examine the effects of kidnapping on socioeconomic development of southern Kaduna and Nigeria in general. This is necessary because despite measures meant to tackle it, kidnapping is still on the increase in recent times. This requires a systematic examination of the problem in order to identify factors responsible for its widespread and its consequences on the socio -economic development of Southern Kaduna and Nigeria in general.

RESEARCH QUESTION
This research shall examine the following objectives.
1. Why people indulge in kidnapping in southern Kaduna?
2. What is the extent of Kidnapping in southern Kaduna?
3. What are the effects of Kidnapping on socio -economic development of
southern Kaduna?
4. What are solutions to the problem of Kidnapping?

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1. To identify the factors responsible for kidnapping in southern Kaduna.
2. To determine the extent of Kidnapping in Southern Kaduna
3. To examine the effects of Kidnapping on socio -economic development in
Southern Kaduna.
4. To proffer solutions to the problem of Kidnapping.

RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS

I. Kidnapping has negative effects on the socioeconomic development of
Southern Kaduna.
II. Kidnapping does not have negative effects on socioeconomic development of Southern Kaduna.

SCOPE and LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This research is limited to effects of Kidnapping on Socioeconomic development of Southern Kaduna and the research covers the period of 2016 to 2019.

a . 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).

b. 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.
Despite the above-mentioned constraints, the researcher devoted and put great efforts in sourcing reliable data.

SIGNIFICANCES OF THE STUDY

In recent years, Kidnapping is really alarming in Kaduna and the nation at large, The extent and frequent occurrence of this insecurity in Southern Kaduna especially from the periods of 2016 to 2019 has put the state and country in danger, tension, hence this
incident necessitated for this research and it is relevant because it will Enlighten and educate the public especially the residents of southern Kaduna about consequences of kidnapping on progress and development. It will similarly serves as a contribution to the existing literatures. The research work is equally important to policymakers and government agencies because it will recommends and suggests the possible solutions and measures to be taken to tackle the problem and menace of kidnapping on socioeconomic development in Kaduna and Nigeria at large.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS of KEY CONCEPTS

i. Effect
Effect is defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause. Something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result influence.
ii. Kidnapping
Fage and Alabi(2017,p.289)who conceived kidnapping as “forceful or fraudulent abduction of an individual or group of individuals for reasons ranging from economic, political and religious to(struggle for) self determination”. Kidnapping is also the action of abducting someone and holding them captive. an act or instance or the crime of seizing, confining , abducting, or carrying away a person by force or fraud often with a demand for ransom or in furtherance of another crime.
iii. Socioeconomic development
Socio- economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Socio – economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy, safety, and levels of employment.

iv. Development

According to Rodney (1972), “Development is a many-sided process implying for the individual, skills and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well-being. The process involves the development of tools, skills and the mobilization of required resources for development purpose”. Development simply denotes a progressive transformation from a undesirable condition to a desirable level.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This research extensively used secondary sources of data only such as journals, internet, textbooks, newspapers, magazines. The research will make use of content analysis for the data collected.

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