At least 27 Nigerians have been kidnapped from four states in the past 48 hours, amidst the growing insecurity across the country.
Kidnapping for ransom has become one of the major security challenges facing Nigeria. Others include banditry, Boko Haram and ethnoreligious violence.
The insecurity across the country persists despite the efforts of security agencies.
Many Nigerians have also questioned the performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration regarding security, especially as section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian constitution provides that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of government.
In this report, PREMIUM TIMES looks at series of kidnap incidents that have occurred in the last 48 hours in different states of the country.
At least, 27 Nigerians have been abducted between Sunday and Tuesday morning.
Gunmen operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway on Sunday killed Kelvin Izevbekhai, a lecturer at the Igbinedion University, Okada, in Edo State.
The Edo State police commissioner, Mohammed DanMallam, confirmed the killing. He said the victim was killed when he attempted to escape from a bush the kidnappers took him to, alongside other passengers travelling in the same bus with the lecturer.
While the police succeeded in rescuing four other passengers from the bush, none of the kidnappers was caught.
Also on Sunday, kidnappers stormed a remote village called Anguwan Kuli, along the border of Sabua local government in Katsina State and Birinin Gwari axis in Kaduna to abduct a pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and 14 others.
The Kaduna police spokesperson, Yakubu Sabo, said the worshippers were accosted by the armed men on their way from a church service on Sunday morning.
“They took away the pastor, four men, and ten women, making them 15”, the police said.
The Chairman of Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Joseph Hayab, on Monday said the abductors have reached out to the families of the victims demanding for N30 million ransom.
Mr Hayab also said the kidnappers immediately switched off their phone after presenting their demand.
In Ekiti, two individuals reported to be twins, Kehinde and Taiwo Olowoafara, were kidnapped along Aramoko-Erio-Efon Alaaye Road in Ekiti State while they were travelling on Sunday.
The abduction occurred the same day the General Secretary of the Alumni Association of Christ School, Ado Ekiti, Ayo Oladele, was kidnapped.
The trio are yet to be rescued as at the time of filing this report. The state police spokesperson, Caleb Ikechukwu, said the police operatives were doing their best to rescue the abducted people.
While the family of the twins said abductors of their children had already reached out, demanding N6 million each for the duo to be released, Mr Oladele’s family said that the abductors were demanding N10 million for their son to be set free.
Two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), identified as Bayegunmi and Abioye, were kidnapped in Iwaraja, Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, on Monday.
The FRSC spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday that the kidnappers of two officials have demanded N1 million ransom to release the road safety officials.
Hours after the kidnap of the FRSC officials, two villagers were abducted in a nearby village in Osun State.
The head of hunters in Ibokun, Amusa Dunsin, and a woman identified as Tayo was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State.
In the past week, the police and other security agencies have announced the arrest of scores of suspected kidnappers and the rescue of dozens of victims.
Despite the efforts of the security agencies, however, the proliferation of arms by non-state actors, as well as the insufficient number of trained and equipped security personnel has contributed to the insecurity across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari was recently criticised by many Nigerians after he joked about the security situation in the country.