Cult groups are used as tools by different interests to settle scores, intimidate people they perceive as their oppressors and on many occasions, are hired to kidnap, threaten, kill or maim their victims.
Kidnapping is a thriving business among cult groups. However, despite government” efforts to address the menace of kidnapping, this criminal activity still persists. Many unemployed youths have taken to this illicit act as a source of livelihood because of the huge amount of ransom paid by families of kidnapped victims.
In the business of kidnapping, report has it that individuals from rich families are easily objects of target. Also, those perceived to be financially balanced could also be target for abduction.
Moreover, secret cult groups also abduct rival members as a way of instilling fear into the minds of the individuals and their family members. The trauma kidnapped victims go through is of huge concern because almost all of them live with the trauma for a long time. For some, the trauma is like a festering sore that cannot heal.
Kidnappings for ransom occasionally occur in Nigeria’s commercial capital. A school in the city was once attacked by gunmen which was the first of such incident.
Also School girls were taken from a private co-educational secondary school earlier this year in March.
A BBC reporter in Lagos says the abductors have yet to issue demands.
In most kidnapping cases in southern Nigeria, hostages are released unharmed after a ransom has been paid, according to BBC’s Umar Shehu Elleman from Lagos.
Earlier in the year, two suspects, Adeleke and Bakare who were arrested after the abduction of a civil servant, Mr Moses Adelabu in Ifako-Ijaiye LGA of Lagos, confessed to the Iju Ishaga police division that they were paid by some members of the Adelabu family to carry out the act. Mr Moses it was gathered, was the next in line to become the Olori Ebi . Olori Ebi in yoruba land is a figure head of the family who gets consulted on key decisions that affect the entire family but more importantly gets great rewards for occupying the position.
In another development, a young man named Akinwumi Olawale who lives in Iju-Ishaga, a suburban area of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State fell into the nest of the kidnappers in January 2015. His abductors were allegedly members of a secret cult group who had been paid by his extended family members to deliver a final warning to him to divorce his wife on the account that she was a lesbian. Two months ago, he found a written letter on his car with conditions to be met to divorce his wife or he and his family would be visited with terror and death.
The big abduction cases of expatriates in the Niger Delta area and of prominent Nigerians in the South Eastern part of the country are the direct consequences of not curbing abduction at lower levels. A realization and the acceptance of the problem and its threats to the society is a good starting point to curbing the danger. The government should do more in the area of awareness creation and engage in public-private partnership as it can not do it all alone in the area of efforts aimed at eradicating this menace.