By Odunewu Segun
The rising cases of kidnapping has taken a new dimension, more brazen with well-dressed kidnappers posing as either drivers or guide to unsuspecting passengers disembarking from planes at airports.
According to findings by National Daily, a syndicate of corporate kidnappers may be working at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos following a recent post by an online site on an attempted kidnapping of a woman and her daughter at the airport.
According to the post, a man dressed in suit had approached a woman and her daughter when they arrived Lagos from London, saying he was sent to pick her from her mom.
She questioned him, knowing her husband was on his way to pick them up. The man still insisted by unfolding a paper with her name and that of her daughter’s which he spelt wrongly. He kept persuading the woman and her daughter to follow him to the car parked outside.
The suspected kidnapper later disappeared when the woman tried calling security operatives at the airport. She actually took a picture of the alleged suspect, showing it to the security operatives who promised to look into the matter.
When National Daily contacted airport security, they denied knowledge of any such complain, referring this reporter to the Airport authority for further clarification.
The phenomenon of kidnapping has taken an alarming dimension in Nigeria, such that it has become a big business. Kidnapping, hitherto known only in the Niger Delta, is now a daily occurrence in Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and many other States in the country.
Kidnapping of expatriates in the Niger Delta is one of the major weapons employed by the various ethnic militias operating in the area.
The spread of kidnapping to other parts of the country is believed to be a fallout of the military confrontation between the militants and the Federal Government. The militants, who were dislodged from their Niger Delta bases like Gbaramatu kingdom, etc, were forced to relocate to other areas where they have continued their trade of kidnapping as a means of survival.
The other probable groups of kidnappers are those who, though not militants, believe that kidnapping pays with minimum risk of being caught. This second group follows the general trend of Nigerians who like to go into any business that they consider lucrative at the moment, not minding if such would endure or not.
It would be recalled that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently signed the Anti-Kidnapping Law, which specifies death sentence for kidnappers in the State. The law recommends death for kidnappers in whose custody victims died and life jail for those who kidnapped for ransom.
While speaking on the significance of security to his administration, Governor Ambode said: “Security is of utmost importance to our administration and we are confident that this law will serve as a deterrent to anybody who may desire to engage in this wicked act within the boundaries of Lagos”.