Nigeria: The economics and trauma of banditry and kidnapping in the north

By Ope Adetayo
Posted on Thursday, 21 April 2022 21:21, updated on Friday, 22 April 2022 14:51

One of the parents of the abducted JSS Jangebe school girls reflects, a day after over 300 school girls were abducted by bandits, in Zamfara, Nigeria 27 February 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria's ransom economy is tearing communities apart, and leaving families financially crippled.

Hasannat, a 40-year-old mother of three whose name has been changed for security reasons, was returning from a trip to Kaduna to Abuja on 19 July 2019, when she missed her train. Leaving a seven-month-old baby at home in Abuja, she could not afford to stay over and opted for a road journey. With other eight passengers, she got into a crammed mini-bus for the roughly 190km journey. Around 7pm, at Rijana, just outside of Kaduna, which is a hotspot for deadly kidnappings, gunfire broke out.

A hail of bullets rained on the SUV just ahead, but it was bulletproof and got away.The kidnappers who were clad in military uniforms, frustrated that their target had got away, seized the opportunity that there was a bus in sight with ten people in it. They shot at the bus, brought it to a stop and carted the passengers into the bush.