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Convicted kidnappers should receive the death sentence

13 April 2022
Reading time: 3 minutes

Until kidnappers receive the death sentence, the rising trend of this horror crime will continue.

This was the view of Aisa Musa Gaidam, a lecturer in the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Maiduguri.

Kidnapping, usually carried out by insurgents, bandits and hoodlums, was on the rise in Nigeria’s northeast.

RNI reporter Aisha Jamal spoke to Gaidam about the recent increase of the crime.

“Poverty in Nigeria is alarming especially at grassroots level where people cannot meet their needs and are dying of hunger. Often out of desperation, some of these people concoct corrupt means to try to make a living. One of these ways is kidnapping. They ask for a huge amount of ransom money from the victims’ families. Some return their victims in exchange for the cash; some kill the people they have kidnapped before or after getting the money,” she said.

“Now some of the kidnappers do not have a specific target; they pick both the poor and the rich and, in some cases, politics is involved. Political leaders sponsor some people to commit the crime just to create tension or to divert the attention of citizens. Unemployment is a major factor when it comes to crime of all kinds. People, especially youths, are easily lured by criminals. The government needs to tackle the issue before some people see kidnapping as a viable source of income.”

There had not been any serious punishment or harsh measures taken again kinappers, she said. There were more convicted kidnappers walking around scot-free than the number of those apprehended and detained.

Gaidam said the government did not share what punishments were handed out but she believed this should be more transparent so that the public was informed about these matters.

“The government should consider sentencing kidnappers to capital punishment. Only in this way will kidnappers think more carefully before committing the crime. The death sentence will also deter people who might be thinking of kidnapping someone for a ransom,” she said.

“The government, security agencies and the courts need to take proper action. They need to make use of and put more emphasis on intelligence and technology to minimise the crime and find a solution to stop incidences of kidnapping.”

Gaidam said the government needed to create more jobs, wipe out corruption in institutions and society and ensure developmental policies reached people at grassroots level to ensure peace and development in the country.

  • On March 28, the Abuja-Kaduna train was bombed. Eight people were killed and 29 wounded. At least 100 stranded passengers were kidnapped.

Only one of passenger, Alwan Ali Hassan, the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture, had been released so far by the kidnappers. They said he was too old and weak. His family paid ₦100 million for his release.

The other 100 passengers on the train were still being kept captive. The attackers told the government that if it did not heed their demands, the kidnapped people would be “slaughtered”.


About the author

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.