Gale of Kidnappings: Nigeria is in a state of anarchy

Nigeria is in a state of anarchy and lawlessness, rampant Kidnappings and widespread insecurity. This insecurity is a manifestation of a complex social malfunction. Our society lacks empowerment opportunities because of prolonged leadership failure. While others have built organic societies where TRUST is a currency, we have regressed to a self-centred primitive society.

From the news below and in just one week, An Owerri monarch, Eze Obichere, Mrs Stella Odimegwu, the wife of the former, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Dr. Festus Odimegwu, the Chief Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal, Mrs Pauline Njemanze as well as Justice Ambrose Egu, were all abducted at gun point.

Moreover, Body of kidnapped doctor dumped by roadside in Akwa Ibom State, Two kidnapped NNPC staff found dead in Benin, Edo State and in Aba, Abia State, Kidnappers last week went on rampage at the Ogbor Hill area of the commercial town of Aba in Abia State, abducting five persons,  including  a popular TV preacher, Evangelist Jacob Achilefu of the Church of Christ, Aba.

Add these to the latest information that about 34,000 Nigerians have allegedly been killed unlawfully since 1999 when the nation returned to democratic rule,  and you will get the sense that:


Nigeria Burning On All Fronts – Part 3

READ ALSO The Menace of Kidnapping in Nigeria: Credibility of the Federal Government & Judiciary On Trial 

Gunmen kidnap Imo monarch

Mar 23, 2010

OWERRI—A first-class traditional ruler and secretary of Ndi-Eze in Owerri-West Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze H.M. Obichere, Eze Ola 1 of Oforola was weekend abducted by unknown gunmen, who stormed his country home and whisked him away at gunpoint.

Eze Obichere was said to have been abducted while attending a church service.

The gunmen, numbering six stormed an Anglican Church, located some meters away from his palace, where the traditional ruler had gone for the Sunday worship at about 11am.

According to eye-witness account, the 9am mass at the Church, which Eze Obichere attended, was still on when the hoodlums, who arrived in black jeep, struck.

The hoodlums were said to have trailed the traditional ruler to the church, where they waited at a near-by beer parlour for the church to close. They allegedly sent for him in the guise to have him remove his car, which they claimed was blocking their own car.

“The moment the traditional ruler stepped out of the church, the hoodlums bounced on him, shooting into air as they forced him into their waiting jeep and sped off to an unknown destination”, said one of the natives, who wouldn’t want his name in print.

As at press time, the whereabout of the traditional ruler is still unknown.

The kidnapping of Eze Obichere came barely a week after Mrs Stella Odimegwu, the wife of the former, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Dr. Festus Odimegwu was abducted in Owerri, and three weeks before that, the Chief Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal, Mrs Pauline Njemanze as well as Justice Ambrose Egu, were respectively abducted at gun point.

Body of kidnapped doctor dumped by roadside

Monday, March 22, 2010

THE lifeless body of a medical doctor, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen last week, has been allegedly dumped by the roadside in front of the Akwa Ibom State Secretariat by his abductors.

The doctor, who was identified as Justin Edet, was said to have been held hostage by his abductors for six days while negotiation went on over the amount that would be paid as ransom.

But Edet’s family was shocked to have seen the corpse of their breadwinner by the side of the road, even after they had promised to pay N300,000 as ransom.

An eyewitness revealed that the medical doctor’s abductors had demanded N5m as ransom, moments after seizing him.

According to the eyewitness, members of the family, had expressed their inability to provide the huge sum demanded by the kidnappers and only promised to provide N300,000.

“They were about providing the money when they saw the corpse of the man by the roadside. We are still shocked over this development, ” the eyewitness, who preferred not to be mentioned, said.

Confirming the incident on Sunday, the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Command, Mr. Walter Rugbere, said the deceased’s wife had explained that the husband was ill before he was abducted.

He pointed out that there was no trace of any gunshot or sign of any injury on the deceased when the police checked Edet’s body.

Rugbere said, “We learnt that the body of the late medical doctor was dumped by the roadside somewhere and we did not notice any sign of gunshot or machete cut on the body of the deceased.

“It is surprising. There was also no sign of strangulation. But the wife of the man had already told us he (the deceased) was ill before he was kidnapped. It is quite unfortunate. “

He, however, assured that the police would continue with their investigation and apprehend those behind the abduction of the late medical doctor.

Two kidnapped NNPC staff found dead

Sunday, 21 March 2010 22:53

The bodies of the two kidnapped workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Abubakar A. Malabu and Bashir Danjuma were recovered in the bush in Delta State on Saturday.

Malabu and Danjuma were staff of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the NNPC in Benin, Edo State. They were kidnapped March 13, 2010, by an unknown gang on their way to Delta State University, Abraka, for lectures where they were studying for a Masters Degree in Petroleum Economics.

Initially, when the news of their abduction broke out, NNPC officials declined comments.

A text message however revealed the shocking news yesterday.

The message, composed by one of their colleague Mr F.O. Johnson, read: “Messrs Bashir Danjuma and Malabu A. Ahmad of the NPDC who were declared missing since 13th of March, have been found dead inside a bush in Delta State.”

He described the incident as ‘unfortunate and shocking’ adding that the bodies were found on Saturday Morning.

Phone calls put through to NNPC’s spokesperson Dr Levi Ajuonuma were not answered and a text message was not replied.

Malabu’s brother in-law, Alhaji Adamu Modibbo, however confirmed the story to Daily Trust on phone. He did not give details.

The two murdered staff hailed from the northern part of the country, which raised fresh security concern in the oil producing part of the country. Militants in the Niger Delta were known mainly for kidnapping of foreign oil workers and demanding for ransom.

Some staff of oil companies resident in Niger Delta who spoke to Daily Trust on the condition of anonymity said they were shocked when they heard what happened to their colleagues.

They said they are worried over their security in the Niger Delta region and urged government to fish out and bring the perpetrators to book. “It was really complicated, something must be done”, said one of the NNPC staff working in the Niger Delta.

Daily Trust learnt that Danjuma who hailed from Yobe State was employed by NNPC in 2000 while Malabu was employed in 2003 as a geologist from Adamawa State.

In 2006 Malabu was loaned to Chevron Nigeria Limited by the NPDC were he attended two year course in United States of America between 2006 and 2008. Malabu survived by his wife and two children.

Kidnappers storm Aba

Tuesday , March 23,  2010

Last week was particularly turbulent for residents of the Ogbor Hill axis of Aba, Abia State capital as gunmen wreaked havoc in the area, kidnapping over five persons in the process. First on the call sheet was a popular TV preacher, Evangelist Jacob Achilefu of the Church of Christ who was kidnapped along the Aba- Ikot Ekepene Highway.

According to a reliable source, Evangelist Achilefu was kidnapped as he was returning from the national institute of technology (NITS), an arm of the Church of Christ located on Onicha Ngwa.

The evangelist, who was travelling in company of his driver and secretary, was held hostage inside a forest for some weeks before he was released after he reportedly paid N2m ransom.

Few days after the clergyman’s abduction, hell was let loose as gang of six gunmen stormed the Grail Center on Opobo Road also in Ogbor hill. Daily Sun reliably gathered that to ensure that the coast was clear before they began the operation, the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air and the mobile policemen at a checkpoint some 400meters away and took to their heels.

It was further gathered that when solders on patrol duty got to the scene of the kidnapping the gunmen engaged them in a fierce shoot out. Daily Sun learnt that the soldiers withdrew after about 20 minutes. The gunmen were said to have later kidnapped the septuagenarian wife of a foremost fast food eatery owner who had gone to the Grail center for a programme. She was abducted alongside two others.

Also during the week, three other persons including a lawyer and a sales representative of a leading brewery in the country were kidnapped. They were however released after paying various sums of money as ransom.

Residents who spoke to Daily Sun on the development decried the renewed violent crime in the area, particularly kidnapping.

They lamented that despite the heavy presence of military/police personnel, kidnappers have continued to operate in the area with little or no resistance from security agencies. The residents called on the nation’s security to de-emphasize of the road- block approach to that of intelligence- gathering.

According to Andy Ehanire, the insecurity is a manifestation of a complex social malfunction. Our society lacks empowerment opportunities because of prolonged leadership failure. While others have built organic societies where TRUST is a currency, we have regressed to a self-centered primitive society. The system creates “big men” instead of strong institutions; a culture of conspicuous display of wealth and authority without corresponding responsibility for social progress. There is clear hunger in the land even without crop failure because there is little or no provision for people to key into the opportunities in the system. Primitive accumulation means the winner or “smarter” takes all. The percentage of people who have become desperate and even nihilistic is at an implosion level, while the police and other law enforcement agents are also frustrated victims.

The only way out is a long term reorientation in values, which can either come through planned social engineering or a complete social collapse from which a new civilization would start from the ruins. Social transformation genuinely starts from the family system (the foundation of society), and simultaneously to a more focused educational system (to include repositioning the African tradition of age-grade rites of passage and skills acquisition through mentoring).  Though in a global village, our society must have safeguards against the onslaught of cultural imperialism (especially its scum) by being able to retain core social values with clear cultural identity in an era of rapid change.

In conclusion, we must take collective responsibility for the situation in order to forge a new social contract. In the meantime we can only try navigating the quagmire while bracing up for the fallouts.

34,000 Nigerians killed unlawfully since 1999


About 34,000 Nigerians have allegedly been killed unlawfully since 1999 when the nation returned to democratic rule.

In a statement yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State, the International Society for the Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) regretted that the sanctity of human life and the dignity of human persons were the most abused and degraded in the country.

The group said: “The number of those killed outside the law in Nigeria since 1999 might have increased to 34,000. They include over 160 political assassinations; over 10,000 vigilance-related killings. Over 13,500 killings have resulted from the ethno-religious and inter-communal violence in Nigeria since 1999. These killings were mostly carried out by non-state actors.”

According to the statement by the group’s chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Head of Publicity, Mr Justus Ijeoma, killings by Nigerian security forces, particularly the Army and the Police, have resulted in over 10,000 deaths.

Intercity gave the examples of some of the areas of deaths as the Odi community in Bayelsa State, the Zaki-Biam in Benue State, the Gbaramatu in Delta State, and the Niger Delta regions.

It noted that these were among places where the nation’s security forces killed outside the law.

It said: “Out of over 1,000 unlawful deaths recorded during the Boko Haram uprising in 2009, Nigerian security forces accounted for at least 30 per cent. In the Jos crises of 2008, 2009 and 2010, the security officers were found wanting.”

Quoting the 2009 Report of the United States on the State of Human Rights in Nigeria, Intersociety said: “Nigeria’s human rights problem during the year 2009 included the abridgement of citizens’ rights to change their government, politically motivated and extra-judicial killings by security forces, including summary executions, vigilante killings, abduction by militant groups, torture, rape and other cruel, inhuman degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees and criminal suspects.”

It maintained that the major reason the unlawful killings have continued was because of “profound levels of poverty, the failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the violence (unlawful killings) and discriminatory government policies.”

It noted that “beyond these are the primordial database and locomotive investigation mechanism available in the investigation warehouse of the Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Police Force.”

The group stressed that this “explains why over 160 highly political murders were not conclusively and satisfactorily investigated. The monopoly enjoyed by the Nigerian Police over criminal investigation is like a similar monopoly being enjoyed by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria over power supply.”