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Kidnapping: The Rising Conglomerate In Delta State



Anarchy as Delta community engages herdsmen in gun battle

By Paul E. Michael… The ungodly activities of Kidnappers in Delta State, mostly in the Isoko axis, have become a major security concern to dwellers in the oil rich State, such that most Deltans are now afraid to enjoy the comfort that comes with riches. With several kidnapping cases reported, Delta State can be described as a haven of insecurity. Thus, urgent action is needed to restore normalcy across the State.


I can argue that kidnapping is now the leading illegal business in Delta State, with partners,  contractors, consultants and agents spread all over the State. The pleasure derived from the ransom being paid to kidnappers, has blinded their sense of morality and made them heartless to the pains and agony of victims. This said pleasure has made the inhuman trade a destination for disgruntled elements, who are desperately seeking for self-satisfaction.


Apparently, the growth of kidnapping activities across the State has increased public anxiety beyond measures. The effects of this criminal behaviour are quite enormous. While investors are deterred from investing in the State, migrants, tourists and visitors are losing interest in the State on a daily basis. Like one of such visitors from Abuja puts it, “the easiest way to sign your death warrant”, he said, “is to visit Delta State and live a luxurious lifestyle”.


Outside the tension, anxiety and trauma that kidnapping has generated across the State, economic activities have been seriously affected. It is wisdom therefore, for the  government of the day to be more proactive in fulfillment of its primary responsibility, which is protection of the lives and properties of Deltans.


Factually, King Josiah Umukoro, the Odio-Ologbo of Olomoro Kingdom in Isoko South Council of Delta State, was reportedly kidnapped on January 29, 2016, barely a week after the dead body of the former Ubulu-Uku King in Aniocha North Council, Obi Akaeze Edward Ofulue III, was found after been kidnapped for several weeks.


Surprisingly, Chief (Mrs) Hope Evivie, who was first kidnapped on 17th January, 2014, was re-kidnapped for the third time, in a broad day light at her shop along Emore Road in Oleh, the headquarters of Isoko South Council Area, Delta State, about 9 days ago. The 65years old women is still languishing in an unknown destination. This is absurd, so I join those calling on the government to ensure she returns home safely.


Most recently is the kidnap of a Lawyer, Barr. F.O Obasohan, along Ozoro-Kwale Road, while heading to Court alongside his secretary. Though he was released on the night of 16th June, 2016, following the payment of about 0.5million ransom, the kidnap of the legal practitioner is most unfortunate and it reveals the height criminality has assumed in Delta State.


The government and security agents should not handle the cases of Chief (mrs) Hope Evivie and Barr. F.O Obasohan with laxity. It will be unjustifiable if those behind these clandestine operations are not apprehended and brought to book.


Going forward, kidnapping and general criminality needs to be strongly condemned by well meaning Deltans as well as opinion and religious leaders. The State and Local governments alongside Security agencies on their part need to set up intelligence network across the State, so as to combat and discourage the uprising of kidnapping and insecurity. This will help reduce the unnecessary and painful experiences kidnapping imposes on law abiding citizens.


The best way the government can do this is to invest in the security sector, mostly the intelligence departments, to enable officers in collaboration with community dwellers to source for vital information about kidnapping activities, critically analyse such information and used same to apprehend offenders.


Meanwhile, unemployment, which is a brainchild of corruption, is one major causes of kidnapping, though some persons indulge in the practice due to greed. Basically, every human deserve food and shelter for sustainable living. If such basic necessities cannot be afforded, one will likely sacrifice the principles of morality to satisfy his/her hunger. It is worthy of mentioning at this point that crime is an unhealthy and unlawful behaviour that all humans are vulnerable to.


With that in mind, the government of Delta State as well as Local government will be doing Deltans good if they focus on industrialisation, which will create job opportunities for the unemployed population in the State. This will help redirect the activities of the youths toward meaningful ventures and reduce their involvement in kidnapping and criminality.


In conclusion, Deltans need to be willing to overcome the existing barrier between the men of the Nigerian Police Force and citizens, by providing useful informations to the Police, bearing in mind that the fight against kidnapping and criminality is a collective fight. On the part of the Police, a more people-oriented policing approach should be adopted against the usual culture of force. Together, we can defeat kidnapping and be sure of maximum security of lives and properties.


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