Recent incidents of kidnapping across the country have raised fears that strategies to checkmate the crime have failed, thereby heightening the need to address the underpinning factors that propel people to take to the crime.

Reports from Ekiti, Enugu, Rivers, Ondo, Bayelsa, Oyo and Kogi states among others show that kidnapping has been on the rise, with the perpetrators demanding various amounts as ransom for the release of their victims.

The situation became so grave in Ekiti State two weeks ago that the governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, sent SOS to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.

Before the SOS, no fewer than five lecturers of the Ekiti State University had been kidnapped. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also became so worried about the spate of kidnapping in the state that it advised doctors to remove the NMA stickers on their vehicles to avoid becoming victims.

Again, two maternal cousins of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience Egbeni, 35, and Kate Eni, were last week Tuesday kidnapped at Akipelai in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

In Lagos State, the Police Command recently paraded three members of a six-man kidnap gang. They were involved in the abduction of a 52-year-old along Eleko-Epe expressway on her way to Ajah market.

On and on the list goes, heightening fears that the crime is on the upsurge and the need to review strategies to tame the scourge, including the need to address the underpinning factors leading people into the crime.

One of such is the inordinate ambition to make it big and gain recognition in the society. The pervasive unemployment in the country, where millions of school leavers, tertiary institutions graduates inclusive, roam the streets years unending in search of jobs, is another factor.

So, until these underpinning factors are addressed by both government and society, including a re-orientation of the populace as it relates to material possession, the likelihood is there that those behind kidnapping may beat a retreat from time to time only to resurface in a more daring and deadly fashion when least expected.


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