Kidnapping and terrorism in Nigeria was unknown in the early years of Nigeria's independence in 1960. It became rampant in the late 90's and further culminating in today's epidemic proportion. If you look at kidnapping and terrorism you will understand from its definition that it reflects a breakdown in law an order in society. It is a sign that formal authority is ineffectual and that checks and balances in governance are not working since little or no prosecution of cases abound. The kidnapper grows his trade on the assumption that there is no justice and equality provided by organisation of society as to encourage people to work and conscientiously earn a decent living. They see one man's wealth as belonging to all but only appropriated by the more powerful. In that light they arm to become powerful in order to join the loot. Where there is proper education and civic orientation perhaps this impression could be changed but not in Nigeria at the moment where money is held too high surpassing every other virtue in the pursuit of survival.
The above sets the stage for the history of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria. I do not have to tell you how bad it has become now that another election is in the offing-the 2011 general elections. Check out the trend - it is always at such point when money is in need for campaigns that such pressures are overwhelming. At such times the fragile polity is overheated because it is inadequate to solve problems. So the problem has political root. Tracing the history will also prove this point.
Kidnapping and terrorism is a fall out of unemployment of youths. It is compounded by growing ignorance of the young arising from low quality of education and life. This is against a backdrop of stupendous inexplicable wealth and display by those whose rise to fame could only be traceable to few moments of lawlessness or defiance of order.Some of the super rich were former coup plotters turned Head of States and their retinue of appointees. You get me now. Others are those who looted the Ministries and Parastatals dry taking advantage of the loose judicial and enforcement arms of government at these times as well as today.
How do you explain to the young that he is not to go to school because he is not born of a coup plotter's family or of a looter? Since the young will always learn from us they grew up imbibing the lessons they see on the street. They see the military run off people from the streets with blaring siren and they want to be like that man who is benefiting from his violent disposition. They see Police pretending to provide security only to allow or collaborate with armed robbers to cause mayhem and they want to grow up into these prototypes. They know that only the rich get justice here, they see the Courts swimming in bribery an corruption because after all the leader of the country does the same; so what is the big deal?
So the advent of Military rule sowed the seed of violence but the quasi-civilian proclivities known as 'civilian governments' watered it with selfishness against the young who are in the majority. So you have starting from the militancy in the Niger Delta a full blown terrorism spilling into the streets when the government provided everybody with cheap arms and ammunition under the guise of Amnesty programme. Who does not know that the whole thing was a fluke designed to please the international community?
Who does not know that new guns were purchased and handed over to the militants for them to submit and collect their pay-offs in public view? Who is so daft as not to understand that the real guns were auctioned at Ngwa land to local gun runners at as low as N25,000 per AK 47 and many for less? Who is surprised that this Region would be the hotbed of kidnapping?
The other tread of history came from our changing social attitude to governance. It started in 1960 when our politicians promising change swept into power but instead of reforming the 'oppressive' so called British colonial set up they occupied the same offices and paraphenelia they...