25 January 2013

Nigeria: N150 Million Set As Ransom for Kidnapped Two-Year-Old

A two-year old boy, Emmanuel Alonge, has been kidnapped by unknown persons in Lagos. His captors have also demanded N150 million as ransom from the boy's father before they release the boy.

It was learnt that the little boy was on his way to school when he was captured by persons who took him away to an unknown destination.

The little boy was being taken to school in the parents' Lexus SUV under the care of a private nurse identified as Mrs.Adeyemo, when he was kidnapped.

The kidnappers, who were masked laid ambush, attacked and overpowered them. They then snatched Alonge junior from those watching over him at gun point.

Thekidnappers, who were four, were said to have been lurking in the vicinity before they attacked the SUV.

They were said to have parked their black Mitsubishi Montero SUV about seven buildings away from the residence of the Alonges.

The nurse, it was learnt, was thrown under the vehicle; as such, the kidnappers could not be followed and pursued immediately for fear of running over her. This gave the kidnappers time to drive away with the captured kid.

The kidnappers hit the nurse several times with their gun butt and threatened her to kill.

LEADERSHIP learnt that little Emmanuel was given birth to fifteen years after the parents were married. The mother had also recently givenbirth to a set of twins.

Kidnapping, the act of taking one away against one's will, usually for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, is becoming everyone's nightmare in Nigeria. Every day, we read horrible stories of people being abducted as they go about their daily activities.

A criminal act, which first attracted national attention on 26 February 2006 when Niger Delta militants kidnapped foreign oil workers to press home their demand, kidnapping has since become ubiquitous and commercialised.

Unfortunately, It has spread from the Niger Delta to virtually all nooks and crannies of the country, with some states of course being hotspots. Essentially, victims have changed from being predominantly foreign oil workers to Nigerians, including parents, grandparents and toddlers and about anyone who has a relative that could be blackmailed into coughing out a ransom.

There is no doubt that Nigeria is today one of the major kidnapping capitals of the world. This has obvious implications for investments, the country's development trajectory and even the quality of governance.

The common tendency is to blame the pervasive wave of kidnapping outside the Niger Delta exclusively on the unacceptable rate of unemployment in the country, an inefficient and corrupt police force that is ill-equipped to fight crime, and collusion between kidnappers and politicians.

These factors however appear to be mere symptoms of a larger malaise, namely that pervasive kidnapping, is one of the major symptoms of both 'failed' and 'failing' states.

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