Kidnapping in Nigeria has grown to become a threat to national peace and security in the nation. It has affected the country’s national image and eaten deep into every nook and cranny of the country.
Numerous threats to national peace exist in Nigeria, from religious conflicts to ethnic-based violence, oil-influenced environmental crisis, among several others. While the activities of the Boko Haram terror group continues to make the news both nationally and internationally, the horrors of abduction for ransom has continued to increase daily, with only a few making it to the news.
Just this year, over 400 Nigerians have been murdered by Boko Haram, bandits and herdsmen. At the same time, bandits have also kidnapped more150 persons since January 2021. On the strength of these unfortunate occurrences, it is necessary that Nigeria adopt a peacebuilding approach, rather than draconian laws such as 15 years imprisonment for whoever pays ransom to kidnappers.
This is basically to forestall the increasing menace of kidnapping, which continuously aborts national peace and security of the country. The concept of peace relates to existing social conditions, which is continuous regarding the socio-economic and political conditions of the people.
It is often said that “peace is no fixation, but a process”. This implies that peace is not a one-off thing, and it involves processes that are directly or indirectly related to enhancing development and mitigating conflict. It involves activities aimed at improving the living conditions of the people, which naturally reduces factors that Induce abduction such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, corrupt system etc.
The identified strategies for peacebuilding include:
Schools, families and religious bodies should peace education into their systems. It is primary consigned with respect for others, individual relationships, social justice and conflict resolution, thereby redressing the culture of violence and aggression while inculcating values of non-violent change among individuals.
Ensuring a harmonious environment requires concerted efforts to prevent conflicts, reconcile parties, education for peace, a strong justice system and most especially communication of peace. This can be achieved through integrated media programmes aimed at inculcating ethical and security behaviours.
Peaceful Democratisation and improved social condition:
The increasing poverty, the high unemployment rate in the nation and the pervasiveness of corruption among political elites have all continued to amplify crimes such as kidnapping. These unfortunate developments, coupled with the nation’s parochial political culture, promote crime economy tendencies among the kidnappers. Hence, Nigeria’s democratic system needs a major overall to be corruption free and ensure all citizens enjoy the dividends of democracy.