After releasing startling statistics recently on kidnapping in the Southeast, a human rights group, Campaign for Democracy (CD), has issued a desperate call to the Southeast governors to take urgent and collective action to contain the menace that appears to have defied all measures.
Worried that kidnapping has scared foreign investors from the region and to underscore the urgency the matter demands, the body gave the governors the deadline of October, 2012 to take firm action to eradicate the crime from the zone.
Campaign for Democracy further recommended the demolition of the structures confirmed to be used by kidnappers in carrying out their activities as part of the solution to the problem.
According to the mind-boggling statistics, a total of the Southeast last five years with a whopping N1.26 paid as ransome although the report was silent over the casualties figures as it is well-known that a handful of the victims have been killed even after ransomes have been paid.
In the statement released from Onitsha, Anambra State signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Dr Jerry Chukwuokolo, Southeast chairman and secretary respectively, noted that each victim paid ransome ranging from five million.
A state-to-state break-down shows Anambra recorded 273 cases mainly within the commercial axis of Onitsha and Nnewi followed by Imo with 265 cases, Abia 215, Enugu 95 with Ebonyi bringing up the rear with 90 cases although the report noted that the state is ridden with bloody communal clashes over land disputes.
The report also that kidnapping cases were once highest in Abia State but was contained following decisive action involving the military and other security agencies although the report also observed that there is currently an upsurge of the crime in Imo State with the citizens living in “heightened fear”.