The recent move by the Nigerian Senate to pass a Bill prohibiting payment of ransom to kidnappers is indeed, a welcomed development. Kidnapping has suddenly become a common thing in Nigeria, with payment of ransom seen as a norm. Oftentimes we hear about the abduction of people in different parts of the country, followed by demand for payment of certain amount as ransom for their release. This has arguably become one of the most reoccurring criminal acts in the country. The reports on vanguardngr.com has however, revealed that the Nigerian Senate is set to pass a bill to prohibit further payments of ransom to these kidnappers.
According to the report, the Bill which is sponsored by the Senator representing Imo East Senatorial District, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi, recommended a 15-year jail term for anyone involved in payment of ransom to kidnappers. The Bill allegedly passed its second reading today, and is aimed at addressing the rising cases of kidnappings in the country. Over the years, families and friends of kidnap victims have been paying ransom for the freedom of their loved ones. However, this has never been a guarantee that the kidnapped person will return home alive. In the past, we have heard stories about those killed even after their family had paid the ransom as demanded.
It is no doubt that every family will be willing to do anything possible to have their kidnapped loved one back, but it is time to end payment of ransom for good. Although this may sound funny, but we need to ask ourselves why kidnapping has suddenly become a common thing in Nigeria. It can be argued that the payment of ransom has made these criminals to see the act as a lucrative business. This explains why more criminals are going into it. Therefore, it has become very important that the payments of ransom is stopped. If this can be done, it will go a long way to end the menace of kidnappings in the country.
It can be argued that kidnappers do not abduct people for the fun of it, but with the intention to extort money from the family of their victims. Therefore, whatever that can stop the payment of ransom for the release of a kidnapped person, will go a long way to discourage the act as it will no longer be profitable. Although this may not be easy as no one would normally prefer to leave his or her loved one in captivity, but in the long run, it will bring the cases of kidnappings in the country to zero. Therefore, it has become important that everyone supports the Senate's decision to impose a sanction on payment of ransom.
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