An average of 13 persons were abducted daily in Nigeria in the first half of 2021, according to a report by SBM Intelligence, bringing to 2,371 the number of persons kidnapped in the country within the first six months of the year.
SBM Intelligence is a leading research consultancy group, versatile in the area of primary data gathering, and analyses of data that provides clarity relating to political, economic and social issues in Nigeria and West Africa.
On the number of people kidnapped in the last six months, the SBM report covered abductions from January to June.
It indicated that a total of 2,371 persons were abducted across 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The tally was derived from media reports and the national security tracker of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Abduction — the new oil money of kidnappers
According to the report, N10 billion ($19.96 million as of June 30) was demanded as ransom for the kidnap victims.
However, the report did not state the total amount paid.
The highest number of kidnap victims, about 605, was recorded in February.
This was closely followed by March with 534 kidnap victims; May, 355 kidnap victims; while April, January and June had 316, 284 and 277 respectively.
Niger State, the hotbed of kidnapping
The report indicated that Niger State recorded the highest number of persons abducted, with 643 victims in 28 kidnap incidents, while 58 people were killed during the abductions.
This was followed by Zamfara State with 519 kidnap victims in seven incidents, leading to the death of 22 people, while Kaduna State recorded 360 kidnap victims in 26 incidents, leading to the deaths of 41 persons.
The kidnap victims in other states are; Abia (6), Abuja (50), Adamawa (3), Akwa Ibom (2), Anambra (14), Bauchi (3), Bayelsa (7), Benue (6), Borno (1), Cross River (4), Delta (51), Ebonyi (5), Edo (18), Ekiti (14), Enugu (15), Gombe (1), Imo (25), Jigawa (2), Kano (3), Katsina (236), Kebbi (81), Kogi (31) and Kwara (10).
Others include: Lagos (6), Nasarawa (44), Ogun (26), Ondo (17), Osun (23), Oyo (61), Plateau (10), Rivers (14), Sokoto (10), Taraba (46), and Yobe (4).
Schools were often targeted in the abductions that took place in the first half of 2021, with hundreds of students taken hostage in the north-west.