The Past, Present and Future of Kidnapping in Nigeria; a Historical Analysis
Keywords:Trans-Saharan slave trade, Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Kidnapping, Ransom Value System
Kidnapping is a violent crime which has caused severe security breaches in the human society. It has been in existence since time immemorial. Nobody is spared of being a victim. It has transcended class boundaries. It appears to be a flourishing enterprise undertaken by the criminally minded persons in the country. No region in Nigeria is immune to the crime. Unfortunately, it seems the security agencies in the country are already overwhelmed. This paper attempts to interrogate the phenomenon from a historical perspective. This is done by comparing the occurrences of kidnapping in the pre-colonial and post-colonial Nigerian society. The factors responsible for kidnapping in the epochs were taken into account. Furthermore, consequences of kidnapping were also investigated. The study adopted the social exchange theory as its theoretical base. It is in the opinion of this paper that kidnapping in the past was a precursor to the kidnapping incidences in our contemporary era and will continue to occur in the future owing largely to contradictions in human society. Some of these contradictions include greed, debased values system, traditional practices and other social structural factors in the society. The paper recommended among others that traditional/religious practices which do not uphold the sanctity of human life should be abrogated; value reorientation and strengthening of institutional capacity to control and prevent the crime from taking place.