BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY, JOS – While Governor Simon Lalong is away in overseas savouring good life in peaceful climes, Kidnapping of innocent citizens, mostly women and children, has become rampant in Jos and most parts of Plateau state, as the criminal business peaked during the Christmas period.
This is as it seems that the kidnappers fired a strong, bold, and daring warning to Governor Lalong following the kidnapped of the wife of the deputy director of press, Government House, on New Year day, January 1, 2020.
The abduction of the wife of the deputy director of press was a high profile climax of a series of kidnapping operations that characterised life during the Yuletide in and around Jos, as innocent citizens were forced to move with their tails in-between their legs for fear of kidnappers, daredevil cultists, or other hoodlums who literally took over the social space in the state and forced those who quested for fun to sit at home with berthed breath.
Before the Kidnap of the wife of the deputy director of press to Governor Lalong on New Year Day, cases of kidnap of children from the hands of their parents at home had occurred in the Bukuru part of the Jos Metropolis where the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN), is located, while others also occurred successfully behind the old Government House, Rayfield; in Zarmaganda, another behind Jossy Royal Hotel, along Bukuru Road, others at the Rukuba Road, Kufang, and Dadin Kowa area, all within the Jos-Bukuru Metropolitan area.
Although it could not be ascertained at press time, the terms of the negotiations with the kidnappers in respect of the wife of the deputy director of press, it was gathered that parents had to mobilize and part with between 300 to 500 thousand naira to secure the release of their wards by the abductors.
Simply put, the evil business is on the rise as criminal activities surge, as the situation of kidnapping in the southern part of the State, especially Quaán Pan Local Government Area is petty, ridiculous, and painful as the perpetrators of the heinous crime have reduced it to a veritable road side show, as the bargain for the release of a kidnap victim could come down to as low as N10,000 !
In Jos, most Christian worshippers could not observe the popular cross over night service on December 31 in their various churches because kidnappers, cultists, and sundry hoodlums were on the prowl and prepared to get the best of the night.
Similarly, passengers going to the Southern parts of the state also had to defer their journeys in some cases because of the fear of gang ambush and unsafe roads in Plateau.