A total number of 2,371 persons were kidnapped and the sum of N10 billion demanded in ransom in Nigeria in the first half of 2021.
This is according to a report by SBM Intelligence, a geopolitical and economic research firm in its 2021 half-year kidnap report which highlighted that Niger, Katsina, and Kaduna States recorded the most cases of kidnap.
According to the report, the data was sorted by sources from SBM Intel, Humangle, ThisDay, Leadership, DailyTrust, Premium Times, and the Nigerian Security Tracker, highlighting an insecurity crisis that has seen nearly 1000 school kids kidnapped in the North West of Nigeria since December 2020.
Key highlights of the report
- A total of 2,371 people were kidnapped in a total of 281 separate incidents across all 36 states of Nigeria and the federal capital during the first half of 2021.
- 237 people lost their lives in these kidnap attempts.
- The report stated that Niger State saw the most attempt at kidnap (28), the highest number of kidnap victims (643), and the greatest number of people killed in attempts (58), Katsina, and Kaduna also followed with having the most reported cases.
- SBM stated that the total ransoms demanded topped N10 billion ($19.96 million as of 30 June), citing that they have not been able to accurately compute the ransoms paid.
- February witnessed the highest number of victims kidnapped on a monthly basis at 605, with the lowest in January at 284. The month of June witnessed reported kidnaps of 277.
The kidnapping ransoms are used to fund weapons that pose a challenge to Nigeria’s security, affecting multiple sectors of the economy, especially food. Nairametrics reported last week that the prices of major food items in Lagos markets continue to maintain an upward trajectory, as traders attribute the surge to the destruction of farm products caused by floods and the problem of insecurity in the northern parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government last week also announced the approval of an Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) for Zamfara to help in the fight against insecurity.