Kidnapping in Nigeria; Meaning, Notable Cases, Causes, Effects, Possible Solutions

In this post, we will look at kidnapping in Nigeria. Here, you will see the meaning, notable causes of kidnapping, effects and solutions to this menace.

Recently, Kidnapping has become a matter of constant discussion on the radio, television and in the newspapers. With recent cases arising from banditry which include armed robbery, cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom which is very much predominant in the northern part of Nigeria has thrown the country into a state of confusion as it has become a major security threat to the citizens of the country.

Kidnapping has been in existence for a long time but became a center of focus when over two hundred girls were kidnapped by the Boko Haram and since then it has been a major topic making the headlines and has even attracted foreign countries in the fight to bring the malaise to an end.

What is Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is the unlawful act of taking someone forcefully against their will and holding them captive in order to obtain money for their release.

Kidnapping is the most virulent form of banditry in Nigeria. It has become a pervasive and obnoxious violent crime in the country.

Looking more closely at the factors responsible for kidnapping, one key factor that stands out is the epileptic economic situation of the country. Nigeria is struggling economically and as such has brought untold hardship on the citizens of the country.

Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative venture for unemployed youths. To be able to sustain themselves and live comfortably, they go into heinous crimes in which kidnapping is a part of.

In Nigeria, kidnapping is not an alien but a dangerous threat as the safety of citizens are no longer guaranteed. People live in utmost fear because of this breathing menace in society.

Read Also: 10 Reasons Why Some Foreigners See Nigeria as a Terrible Country

In recent times, kidnapping has been targeted at groups in which schoolchildren have been at the receiving end of this dastardly act. At much closer observation, the victims of kidnapping are the wealthy ones or people who hold important political offices as they are considered the big fish by the kidnappers as they are sure to receive large sums of money for their release.

Nigeria is said to have the highest rate of kidnap cases. In the time past, expatriates who came to Nigeria for an important visit were kidnapped and had to go through emotional as well as mental torture from their captors and some were not lucky to make it out alive and those that did had to cope with the aftermath of the traumatic experience.

In Nigeria, kidnapping is not only centered on financial reasons as people in various parts of the country have been reported to have been kidnapped for ritual purposes, political reasons, rape, religious, amongst others.

The kidnapping business is mostly perpetrated by violent groups pursuing political agendas and criminal gangs. The infamous bandits have also taken to kidnapping for ransom.

Read Also: 10 Problems of National Security in Nigeria and Possible Solutions

Kidnapping has seriously left a bad scar on the society as the lasting effects of its negative impact as put the society at the edge. The militants have also been involved in the kidnapping of important people in other to prove a point or to reach an agreeable decision with the federal government of the country over a certain demand.

Kidnapping has stigmatized the country as foreign investors are wary of coming to the country to conduct their business dealings because of the issue of being kidnapped which is the common trend in the country.

Kidnapping has also crippled activities in some parts of Nigeria as citizens are afraid to go about their business activities and this has greatly affected the economy of the country.

Kidnapping is a serious problem that calls for immediate action by the government in other to put an end to this nightmare that has given lots of Nigerians sleepless nights.

Read More: 10 Causes of Insecurity In Nigeria And Solutions

Notable Cases of Kidnapping in Nigeria

There have been lots of cases of kidnapping reported over the years but the issue of the kidnap of the Chibok Schoolgirls by Boko Haram on April 2014 will surely stand out.

The kidnap of the house of the speaker also generated a lot of controversy on the issue.

Also, the kidnap of traditional rulers, school children, political figures, businessmen and women, expatriates, among others are the major causes of kidnapping in Nigeria.

Causes of Kidnapping in Nigeria

Kidnapping results from many factors and the following are the causes of kidnapping in Nigeria :

1. Poverty

This is one of the major cause of kidnapping in Nigeria as most of the citizens are living below the poverty line and as such find it extremely difficult to feed, let alone live a comfortable life.

Poverty leads to the dreaded menace as people think it is what will bring in the money at a fast pace since the country has failed them.

2. Illiteracy

The literacy rate in Nigeria is low. Illiteracy is another cause of kidnapping as uneducated people don’t have other means of generating income and result in kidnapping to survive.

3. Unemployment

An idle mind is the devil workshop which is completely true. Youths who are qualified to be productively engaged but are made redundant by the country’s deplorable economic situation think of any illicit means to make money.

The alarming rate of unemployment in Nigeria has pushed the youths into crime and kidnapping they see as a very lucrative means to make money and keep themselves engaged.

4. Religion

Religion differences has also resulted in kidnapping.

5. Greed

6. Political Issues

7. Corruption

Read More: The Causes of Kidnapping in Nigeria

Effects of Kidnapping in Nigeria

1. Lack of Trust

Due to the widespread of kidnapping in the country, people are wary of falling victims to kidnappers and as such find everything suspicious thereby creating a lack of trust. Even the victims find it hard to ever trust anyone again.

2. Fear

Victims are completely shaken from the ordeal and constantly have nightmares of the traumatic experience creating a huge gap in their minds. People are also afraid to go about their regular business activities as kidnapping has posed a serious security threat to them.

3. Psychological Trauma

Victims become regular patients in the mental institution as they find it difficult to cope with the aftermath of the incidence.

Read more: 10 Problems of Kidnapping in Nigeria

Possible Solutions of Kidnapping in Nigeria

Well, trained anti-kidnapping agents should be appointed to bring the perpetrators to book.

The job should be created to keep the idle mind engaged as well as involved in productive activities that would contribute immensely to the country’s development.

The activities of the police should also be seriously monitored as some have been reported to be an accomplice in the crime of kidnapping by providing key information as well as weapons.

Offenders should be seriously punished to curb kidnapping in the country.


Kidnapping in Nigeria, as well as other criminal activities, needs to be completely eradicated for peace to exist in the country.

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Cynthia Victor

Cynthia Victor is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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