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SOCIO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF KIDNAPPING IN EKITI
Background of the Study:
Kidnapping, abduction, hostage-taking, or by whatever name it goes, has had a long history dating back to time immemorial. This dysfunctional act has featured so conspicuously in recent times in Nigeria, as one of the social vices— perhaps it could only be second to drug trafficking in global catalogue of crimes (http://www.ambrosiatreatmenter.com/drug-report.php). Ekiti State seems to have experienced this social menace at a scale unrivalled in other states in South-western Nigeria. Popularly the state would appear to have experienced a change of governmental control, with kidnappers dictating the pace of activities, as a wave of crime occasioned by their nefarious behaviour has thrived unabatedly, to an extent that one begins to wonder if God is still in charge. Relevant and interested organs of government have made several attempts to ameliorate this social malady but to no avail. This is so much the case that Ekiti State has earned the most unenviable designation of ‘the kidnapping capital of Nigeria’ (Ibekwe, 2010).
This criminal act violates one fundamental human right, enshrined in the UN Charter, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria—the freedom of movement. The rate of recurrence of this violation places in the front burner the question of government’s apparent show of inability to place this criminal activity on the leash. The media, both print and electronic, continues to run stories of
abduction of innocent citizens, highlighting further that Nigerian security bodies may have been overwhelmed. In fact one article in the Guardian of July 24, 2010 was very unequivocal in its caption: Kidnapping and the Falling State Status of Nigeria. Governance entails a social contract by which the governed submit certain aspect of their rights to government, in return for government’s provision of security and social welfare. That government agencies campaigns have so far not been able to curb this social menace is evident in the persistence of the crime. This has had Nigerians of all social classes so terrified, creating a sense of insecurity comparable only to terrorist threats and attacks. At the height of this spate of kidnapping in Ekiti State, individuals, families, groups, businesses, worship centers, educational establishments, governmental institutions and, of course, the entire society suffered gravely as properties, monetary wealth, and time (from an economic waste perspective) were wasted.
Statement of the Problem:
Since crime is an abnormal human condition, unwanted and most undesired, it requires a paradigm shift on our popular conception of man in an organized society and the chances for a better and peaceful future. The violent crime of kidnapping, currently a global menace, has kept many residents in Ekiti without sleep, as every person (male and female, young and old) seem to command some kidnapping value within the state.
Kidnapping has taken an alarming dimension in Ekiti State (Jamiu, 2009). It is said to have sprung up in the Niger Delta when militants, calling for both national and international attention (Nyam, 2010) to the perceived injustices, deprivation and ecological degradation occasioned by oil exploration in the region, took to abduction of expatriate oil workers. Soon President Umar Yar’adua, as part of his Seven Point Agenda, granted presidential pardon to Niger Delta militants. Not long after, Ekiti State turned to a hub of kidnappers. This has raised concerns as to whether this wave of abductions is a reaction to the state’s exclusion from, or rather non-inclusion in, the federal government’s Amnesty Grant; or just an act of sheer criminality by seemingly jobless youths.
Kidnapping groups are often beyond the reach of the law enforcement agencies. This is evident in the time taken in conducting their violent bargains by requesting a second payment after reaching agreement and the release of a victim. On other occasions, kidnappers have portrayed inefficiency (whether deliberate or not) with regards to their “data base”, as they have abducted some persons over
and over again. The government with little or no political will and a deteriorating moral authority has made several attempts utilising force in its approach to kidnapping diplomacy. Also, through negotiation and Amnesty Grants to youths as a means to its sustainable control, but to no avail. It, therefore, appears that the major issues at the root of the problem have not been addressed. The researcher’s attempt would be to explore Socio-Economic Effects Of Kidnapping In Ekiti State
Purpose of the Study:
The general purpose of this study is to examine Socio-Economic Effects Of Kidnapping In Ekiti State.
Our specific aims are, therefore;
- To ascertain the causes of kidnapping, without losing sight of its origins.
- To examine the types and resultant consequences of kidnapping in Ekiti State.
- To determine the relationship between religion and crime in general.
- To ascertain the role of the church as a religious organisation in tackling kidnapping as a social problem.
- To make recommendations that could influence policies, utilizing bricks of religious resource and legitimacy in the amelioration of kidnapping in our society.
The methodology used in this study is the historical research method. It utilised both primary and secondary sources of data collections. Since kidnapping is an on-going occurrence and contemporary social malady, the primary sources of data collection would be derived through oral interview from respondents, as a reliable medium for understanding individual perception of the subject matter. That the menace of kidnapping in Nigeria, especially in Ekiti State, has excited much media coverage and generated considerable body of literature. The study would therefore, explore relatively recent publications in newspapers and electronic media, books, journals, articles and unpublished thesis relevant to the study as the secondary sources of data collection. These information or data would be collected, organised and critically analysed.