The Public Health Menace of Kidnappings in Nigeria


As recently published in the Economist:

During the first half of 2013, Nigeria had the most kidnap attempts in the world, accounting for 26% of all such recorded incidents. Mexico was second with 10%, and Pakistan third with 7%.

It is not getting any better:

This year’s tally of kidnaps is expected to be higher in Nigeria than in 2012 and 2011, when 500 and 475 were recorded respectively, says a security expert. But the true figures may be still higher. “Half of all cases are not reported, with some people preferring to handle matters privately,” he explains. Because people have little faith in the police’s ability to arrest the perpetrators or negotiate with them, the victim’s family invariably resorts to settling quickly with the criminals.

This is a truly scary public health menace. With a quarter of the world’s kidnap attempts so far this year, the government needs to reappraise strategies (or the lack thereof), for maintaining public safety and security.

The full article can be found here.