By Omordia, Efe Alexandra – In the past, victims of kidnappings were usually individuals who had some clout or whose absence where considered as a major loss to the communities they represent but that is not the case today.
In Nigeria for example, kidnappings have become as common place as poverty and strife. It is a ‘trade’ that is fast gaining popularity. It is spreading like wildfire. In the beginning it was restricted to the Niger Delta region where expatriates workers were kidnapped and ransom demanded by indigenes who felt that they were being short-changed by the oil companies operating in that area. At that point, nobody raised an eyebrow. It was okay as long as it was another person from another country who was the victim but the amusement and indifference didn’t last for long because the tables turned and indigenes themselves now became the victims.
Those were the days when kidnapping were organized by organized groups who had a grouse to settle. In recent times abductions have become irrational and impulsive. These days victims range from artisans to students to just about anybody! Being at the wrong place at the wrong time is just enough for parties on both sides of the divide to get caught in the web. Young men and women who socialize are lured into the unwholesome practise in such ridiculous and amusing ways. In a recent kidnap burst by the police, one of the suspects who was paraded claimed that he met his partner in church. Another who is an ex- Seminarian said that he met his partner- in -crime at a bar. One wonders if religious gatherings and institutions have become a breeding ground for unwholesome practises and one also wonders if the indifference of the leaders is helping to institutionalize the get-rich-now-or-die-poor culture that is fast becoming the trend among young people in this part of the world.