How kidnappers move from expressways to Lagos, Ogun, Abuja city centres
•Abductors kill two young victims, demand N700m ransom for nine others
The scourge of abductions which has strangulated social and economic activities in the North-West has spread nationwide as bandits and other criminal elements have moved their operations into the major cities across the country.
The hoodlums, who hitherto operated on highways and in rural communities, have in recent times escalated their attacks on residents of Lagos, Abuja, and other urban centres.
The killing of four abducted victims from the Sagwari Estate Layout in Dutsen-Alhaji area, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, ignited a groundswell of anger on Monday, as the bandits who kidnapped seven family members demanded N700m for their release.
The hoodlums had Friday killed Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, a 400-level student of Biological Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, over alleged delay in providing the ransom, generating a firestorm of anger across the country and on social media.
As of Monday night, the remaining five sisters, including Najeebah, a 500-level Quantity Surveying student, and Nadherah, a 300-level Zoology student, are still in captivity.
The siblings were kidnapped alongside their father, Alhaji Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, from their home at Zuma 1, on the outskirts of Bwari town in Abuja on January 11.
The captors had released Al-Kadriyar, asking him to pay N60m ransom for the release of his daughters.
It was learnt that the bandits later raised the ransom to N100m for each captive which they insisted must be paid by Wednesday.
However, in a bid to secure the release of the hostages, the Al-Kadriyar family sought financial support from Nigerians.
The bandits also murdered in cold blood 13-year-old Folashade Ariyo abducted alongside her mother and three siblings.
Two unidentified hostages were also killed by the blood-thirsty criminals and their bodies were dumped around a former military checkpoint behind Idah junction along the Bwari-Jere SCC Road in the Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Reports said Folashade had been buried on Sunday while her mother and siblings were still with their captors.
Meanwhile, the bereaved father, Oladosu Ariyo, has pleaded with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association to intervene in the rescue of his family members facing death threats.
Ariyo’s appeal was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by a user known as @kcuzoka, who said that the message was copied from a lawyers’ WhatsApp group platform.
In the shared post, on Monday night, Ariyo stated that he was a lawyer, and narrated that the kidnappers killed his 13-year-old daughter, despite having raised N7m out of the N60m they demanded, through the donation of friends and family, which the kidnappers had refused to collect.
He added that the kidnappers were threatening to kill his wife and his three remaining children, who were minors and were still in captivity while calling for the intervention of the NBA.
The post read, “Dear seniors & colleagues, most respectfully, I’m Oladosu Folorunso Ariyo, a lawyer working in Abuja. On Sunday evening the 7th of January 2024, around 7:30 pm, a band of kidnappers dressed in full military camon invaded my home located at Sagwari Layout Estate in Dutse, Abuja.
They kidnapped my wife (who is also a lawyer) & our four children. The kidnappers called and demanded 60-million-naira ransom, out of which through generous donations from friends and family, I’ve been able to raise the sum of several million naira which they have vehemently refused to collect.
’As of today they’ve, killed my first born Michelle Ariyo (age 13) and dumped her corpse on Kaduna Road while threatening to kill my three remaining children (who are all minors) and wife, who are still in captivity. Please and please sir, I urgently need the intervention of the NBA. When will these kidnappings end, when will the government pretend to be serious about this insecurity in our country? God help us all.”
Meanwhile, no fewer than 9,754 were killed while there were 4,049 abduction cases across the country between January and December 2023.
This is according to the 2023 Nigeria Security Report by Beacon Consulting, an Abuja-based security risk management and intelligence consulting company.
Also, no fewer than 10 passengers travelling along Ette – Umuopu Enugu-Ezike Road in the Igbo Eze North Local Government area of Enugu State were kidnapped on December 15, 2023.
On December 12, a total of 23 residents in the Dei-Dei community in the Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were similarly abducted while a nursing mother and three children were also taken away by gunmen in Abuja on December on the same day.
About six days later, a musician and band members were kidnapped on December 18.
On September 17, 2023, 19 people were kidnapped in Abuja while gunmen took away 20 residents of Madaki, Manasseh, and Gambo communities in Kuje, Abuja.
About 10 residents of Grow Homes Estate along Kuchibiyi in the Kubwa area of the FCT were also abducted on March 12, 2023.
On January 10, bandits kidnapped a director in the centre for research of the Federal University Gusau in Zamfara State, Malam Bello Janbako.
Janbako who is also a senior lecturer in the department of Islamic Studies of the university was kidnapped in his residence in Damba Gusau, the state capital.
A resident of the area, Nasamu Garba told The PUNCH that, the bandits broke into the residence of Janbako around 2 o’clock in the morning and whisked him away.
Comparison of fatalities in each in each geopolitical region for the year 2023 showed that the North-East topped the list with 3,412 cases, followed by the North-West zone with 2,290 fatalities; the North-Central with 2,002 fatalities; the South-West recorded 774 fatalities; the South-South recorded 698 fatalities; and the South-East recorded 558.
For the abductions, the North-West recorded 1,728 cases, followed by the North-Central with 1,006 cases; 795 in the North-East; 186 were abducted in the South-South; 169 in the South-West; and 165 in the South-East.
According to an intelligence report released on August 23, 2023, entitled, ‘The Economics of Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry: Follow the Money,’ by SB Morgan, kidnappers’ activities have spiralled out of control over time.
Between July 2022 and June 2023, 3,620 people were abducted in over 582 kidnapping incidents in the country, with a reported ransom demand of at least N5bn and an actual ransom payment of over N302m, a figure that could be higher due to underreporting, the SB Morgan report says.
Although the report noted that the North-West and North-Central regions exhibited higher-in-kind cases of this abduction, the trend of kidnapping is now shifting to some South-Western states, with Lagos and Ogun states experiencing a similar situation.
Early December 2023, the family of a 13-year-old schoolgirl, Miracle Adereti, called on the police to locate the whereabouts of their daughter, who was kidnapped by an unknown gang in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
Miracle was said to have been kidnapped while returning from school, and it was gathered that the kidnappers trailed her to school in the morning and waited till the closing period.
The gang, who parked a short distance away from the school premises, thereafter abducted Miracle while she and her sister were walking home.
Another case in Lagos was that of a car dealer popularly known as Ejike Conversion in the Ladipo Spare Parts Market, which occurred in mid-December.
Ejike was said to have been taking an inventory of his newly imported goods in front of his plaza around 12am when some armed men swooped in on him and his workers.
While his workers fled for safety following the sound of gunshots, Ejike was not so lucky as the armed men attacked him, dragged him into their vehicle, and drove off.