Monday, September 16, 2019

Kidnapping in the Heart of Abuja

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
The abduction and release of Dr. Umar Ardo's daughter after a $15,000 ransom payment via bitcoin joins a lengthening list of largely unacknowledged abductions in the heart of Abuja.

A few days ago, a Nigerian-American professor of political science who retired from a university in Mississippi and relocated to Abuja suddenly returned to the US. Just a few months after relocating to Abuja, where he'd invested and hoped to live the rest of his life, he was kidnapped in the downtown and wasn't released until he paid an N8.5 million ransom.

After his release, he took the next available flight back to America. He was profoundly traumatized and swore to never set foot in Nigeria till he dies. He said even his dead body should never be taken to Nigeria.
He was "lucky," he said, that his abductors didn't know he was American: they would have asked for a much higher ransom than they did. From his account, it became apparent to me that scores of people are being abducted on a regular basis right in Abuja's city centre, but we don't hear about these abductions because victims choose to keep it to themselves.
In fact, the retired Nigerian-American professor allowed me to share this only on condition that I conceal his identity. This is a dangerous dimension to the menace of kidnapping in Nigeria. But Buhari is still picking his teeth.