Economic Implications Of Kidnapping In Delta State (A Case Study Of Uvwie LGA)

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Economic Implications Of Kidnapping In Delta State (A Case Study Of Uvwie LGA)


The study examined the economic implications of kidnapping in delta state: a case study of Uvwie LGA. A sample size of 397 respondents was selected for the study. Information on causes and effects of kidnapping were collected using questionnaire. The data collected were summarized using mean, standard deviation and frequency distribution table. Results show that the major causes of kidnapping in the study area are youth unemployment (mean=3.76), moral decadence overtime (mean=3.75), abandonment of political thugs (mean=3.58), quest to get rich quick without work (mean=3.48) and proliferation of arms (mean=3.47). The results further reveal that reduction in the monthly income levels of the people, loss of hard earned money via ransom payment and forceful relocation and property loss are the major impact of kidnapping in the area. Other impact include: shutting down of small businesses and social gatherings (mean=3.68), decrease in agricultural activities (mean=2.11), and decrease in marketing/trading (mean=2.15). The study concluded that kidnapping has significantly impacted on socio-economic activities in Uvwie LGA. The study recommends that there should be collaboration between government, communities and other stakeholders in tackling the problem of kidnapping in the area.

Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Sample size determination
  • 3.5 Instrumentation
  • 3.6 Reliability
  • 3.7 Validity
  • 3.8 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.9 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data

Chapter Five:

Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Kidnapping is a global problem that affects countries all over the world from the economically advanced regions of the west to the economically backward regions of Africa, Asia, and beyond. Governments world over are working hard to address this problem and ensure that the perpetrators are captured and brought to justice. Control Risks (2018) noted that in other African countries, such as Cameroon, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, politically aligned militias have continued to use kidnapping as funding and intimidation tactics. In particular, armed groups currently engaged in a secessionist struggle in the Anglophone North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon adopted the tactic in earnest, resulting in a 500% rise in reported incidences country-wide in 2018 (Control Risks, 2018).

In 2018, Control Risks tracked an ideological and geographical diversification of Islamist militant kidnapping groups in Africa, driven by grassroots momentum and localized grievances. In Mozambique, a homegrown militant group, al-Sunnah, which conducted its first attack in northern Cabo Delgado province in 2017, may present a kidnapping threat in the area. Similar movements have emerged in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, often ethnically distinct and similarly capitalizing on local grievances and deprivation, and supplementing the latent threat presented by more experienced militants operating in these areas. Meanwhile, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia in eastern Congo (DRC) has become increasingly overt in its Islamist branding and rhetoric and is reportedly seeking ties with Islamic State (IS) largely confined to established high-risk, lawless regions.

The Islamist militant kidnapping threat in sub-Saharan Africa has transformed in recent years. Local and transnational armed groups affiliated with either al-Qaida or Islamic State (IS) have posed the main Islamist militant kidnapping threat on the continent. Such groups regularly break apart or coalesce to form new factions and coalitions. In recent years, the three centers of gravity, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – now part of Jama’a Nusratul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) – in the western Sahel, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and al-Shabab in Somalia, have all experienced such splintering in the form of breakaway factions aligning themselves with IS Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Islamic State in Somalia (ISS), respectively (Control Risks, 2018).

Kidnapping has now become a generic word both in public and private discussion going by its prevalence in the West-African sub-region. The word, which has become notorious, putrid, and nauseating in the ears of virtually everyone is derived from “kid” meaning; child and “nab” which means; to snatch. Ngwama (2014) pointed out that kidnapping now appears to be an emerging concern in the region though it is not a new phenomenon. It is as old as the word itself. The kidnappers, who can be very erratic, have been found to engage in criminality for several complex motives ranging from unemployment, idleness, vengeance, rituals, monetary gains, and political reasons.

Like most West African states, the kidnapping of all manner of persons has gained ascendancy in Nigerian space. A malaise previously unknown to the people has rapidly become domesticated. In the last ten years, the volatile oil-rich regions of the Niger Delta witnessed this phenomenon on a large scale with the target being mostly expatriates and Nigerians in the oil business (Benjamin, Ajah, and Okpan, 2018). It has spread throughout the country extending to places as far as Kano and Kaduna in the far Northern part of Nigeria. South-East and South-South Nigeria have become known as the kidnappers’ playgrounds of Nigeria (Bello and Jamilu, 2017). Kidnapping seems easier compared to other forms of serious crimes.

From the unstable situation in the Niger Delta, kidnapping has spread across the country. According to Ngwama (2014), the first act of kidnapping in Nigeria started in 2006 when the militants of the Niger Delta took hostages to protest the inequality in the region. According to the militants, Nigeria is built at the expense of the region which serves as the cash cow for the whole country. These kidnappings can either be for financial or political gain. Victims were originally foreign oil workers, but today many are locals, often employees of international oil and oil service companies, and not necessarily wealthy; anyone whose family might pay a ransom can be targeted. In June 2012, police rescued international footballer Christian Obodo who was kidnapped in front of a church (Bello and Jamilu, 2017).

Unlike the Niger delta whose ideology seems more of resource control and the neighboring southeastern states whose actions are traceable to neglect and deprivation. The North East and North West are sometimes associated with their displeasure for western education, at some point, ethnic cleansing, an economic situation caused by the drying up of lake Chad and so many other perspectives but most talked about is that of religious sentiments, the propagation of Islamic ideology across the nooks and crannies of the Nigerian state (Bello and Jamilu, 2017). In May 2012, criminals kidnapped an Italian national in Kwara State. On 7 May of the same year, a Lebanese national was kidnapped in Kaduna State and his Lebanese colleague was mercilessly killed during the abduction.

In Kaduna and the wider north-west region of Nigeria, kidnapping for ransom has become increasingly rampant, particularly on the road to the capital, Abuja, where armed attacks have thrived. Four western tourists, two Americans, and two Canadians were abducted in Kaduna by gunmen in an ambush that left two of their police escorts dead (The Guardian, 2019). In 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram from the town of Chibok, prompting the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign (The Guardian, 2019). The most recent but worthy of note is the kidnapping and releasing of school children in Katsina state in December, 2020, where the ransom was allegedly paid to the kidnappers before their release.

However, in 2009, rebranding project was frantically directed towards redeeming the image of Nigeria due to the fact that most countries of the world and Nigerians themselves perceive Nigerians negatively (Dieye and Iwele, 2011: 78). Incidentally, in that same 2009 there was rise in kidnapping as available statistics shows that there was 512 incidence of kidnapping in 2009 against 353 in 2008 (Ojukwu, 2011: 380). Ojukwu also noted that the ambassador of the rebranding Nigeria project, Pete Edochie was kidnapped in Onitsha on his way to his home town- Nteje. Since then, kidnapping has drastically affected the country’s image and major businesses in the country.
Furthermore, kidnapping for ransom posses serious threat to the well ordering and functioning of the society and many factors were perceived as its causes. In Nigeria, such factors include corruption among the Nigeria Police Force (Adibe, 2009), unemployment, poverty and leadership failure (Diara, 2010), failure of the government to provide basic amenities and the use of cult gangs and militants by politicians in electoral processes (Okengwu, 2011: 1), access to large quantities of small arms and light weapons (International Crisis Group, 2006 as cited in Iduh, 2011: 126). This study will lay emphasis on the perception of people in Uvwie LGA concerning kidnapping in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem:

Kidnapping in Nigeria is a very serious contemporary social problem which was noted by Iduh (2011: 125) as the outcome of decades of peaceful protests in the Niger – Delta region. Kidnapping first attracted national attention on 20th February 2006 when Niger – Delta militants kidnapped foreign oil workers to press their demand (Nwadiorah and Nkwocha, 2011). Since then, many Nigerians have been kidnapped and only released on huge ransom whose re-payment they may not be able to make for the rest of their lives (Oshio, 2009: 13). The statistics of kidnapping by the Distress Call Base (DBC, Anti-Kidnapping Squad Enugu, 2012) show that from January to December 2009, there were nine reported cases of kidnapping, eight victims of kidnapping, five victims of kidnapping rescued, one victim killed and twenty two arrested kidnappers. Furthermore in 2010, there were twenty six reported cases against nine cases in 2009, twelve kidnapped victims against eight in 2009, eleven rescued victims against five in 2009 and thirty eight arrested kidnappers against twenty-two in 2009. Also in 2011 the data reveal rise in kidnapping as there were forty six reported cases of kidnapping, fifty eight kidnap victims, fifty five rescued victims, one victim killed and one hundred and thirty six kidnappers arrested. In three months from January to March 2012, there were five reported cases of kidnapping, six kidnap victims, five rescued victims and six kidnappers arrested.

Kidnapping groups are often beyond the reach of the law enforcement agencies. This is evident in the time taken in conducting their violent bargains by requesting a second payment after reaching agreement and the release of a victim. On other occasions, kidnappers have portrayed inefficiency (whether deliberate or not) with regards to their “data base”, as they have abducted some persons over and over again. The government with little or no political will and a deteriorating moral authority has made several attempts utilising force in its approach to kidnapping diplomacy. Also, through negotiation and Amnesty Grants to youths as a means to its sustainable control, but to no avail. It, therefore, appears that the major issues at the root of the problem have not been addressed.

1.3 Objective of the Study

  1. To determine the causes of kidnapping in Uvwie LGA
  2. To determine the Economic Impact of kidnapping Uvwie LGA
  3. To determine the social Impact of kidnapping Uvwie LGA
  4. To suggest the counselling strategies for reducing the impact of kidnapping activities

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were answered in the study:

  1. What are the causes of kidnapping in Uvwie LGA ?
  2. What is the Economic Impact of kidnapping Uvwie LGA ?
  3. What is the social Impact of kidnapping Uvwie LGA ?
  4. What is the counselling strategies for reducing the impact of kidnapping activities ?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study, being an exploration of a lingering and seemingly intractable and protracted social problem, will be of enormous significance to future researchers on kidnapping and similar violent crimes, especially since it is explored from a holistic perspective. It is hoped that this research would aid the various levels of government, policy experts and analysts in grasping the genuine causes and impacts of kidnapping. Ultimately, the study would contribute to closing the gap on the dearth of literature that exists on kidnapping, on the one hand, and other violent crimes, on the other hand.

This study will be of significant value relevant to individuals, families, groups, governmental and non-governmental agencies (especially faith-based organizations) involved in related criminal justice activity all over Nigeria. That is, the religious leaders, law enforcement agents (police and joint military task force) and other security and correctional agents interested in formulation, execution or reformation of the criminals among us.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The researcher’s main task would be to examine the Economic Implications Of Kidnapping In Delta State: a Case Study Of Uvwie LGA; however, relevant instances and practical inferences would be drawn from other South-south states, and of course states in the core Niger-Delta. On the panacea or praxis from the church or religion as a social organisation to ameliorate this dysfunctional behaviour, kidnapping, we shall make recourse to successfully organized religious strategies on troubling human challenges.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researcher encountered problems during the course of carrying out this research; such problems were as a result of selected respondents who refused to accept and participate and also encountered difficulty in acquiring relevant materials and items. The attitude of selected subjects to fill the questionnaire to time so as not to delay the result of the research also posed a problem. However, the researcher appealed to the participants through persuasive means

1.8 Definition of Related Terms

A brief explanatory remark on the key terms will be pertinent to aid a better understanding of the topic under study. The terms include the following: kidnapping, religion, crime, violent crime and deviance.


Kidnapping is the taking away of a person by force, threat or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will.


The complexity of crime requires a conscientious reflection noting its tie with sin and morality in general. Okezie (2007:12) views crime as a “violation of a norm that has been entered into law and is backed by power and authority of the state to impose formal sanction”. Also, Lippman (2010:2) simply defined crime as a “conduct that, if shown to have taken place, will result in a formal and solemn pronouncement of moral condemnation by the community”.

1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Kidnapping has posed very serious negative impact on the socio-economic activities and development of the area, some of which are: a drop in the income levels of the people, financial loss through the payment of ransom, indebtedness, loss of property and forceful relocation on the victims and their family members.

Unemployment, unequal distribution of resources, presence of thieves and pickpockets in market places, drug abuse and quest for fast money are the major causes of insecurity and kidnapping. No significant difference was revealed between the responses of professional counsellors and student counsellors on counselling strategies for remedying insecurity and kidnapping. In addition, cognitive restructuring, community and online counselling, individual and group counselling and orientation programmes were seen as the major counselling strategies that could be adopted in remedying insecurity and kidnapping in Uvwie LGA.

These findings would increase awareness of forms and causes of insecurity in Uvwie LGA and brine into focus the counselling strategies that could be used to salvage the situation by Guidance Counsellors.

5.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are hereby made:

  1. Since drug abuse is one of the factors causing insecurity and kidnapping, drug education and security education should as a matter of urgency be introduced in both primary and secondary schools in the state.
  2. Both the Federal and State governments should create jobs for the teeming graduates who are roaming the streets. Job creation at the grassroots will keep people gainfully employed and reduce migration to urban cities and criminal tendencies (Denga, 2009).
  3. Counsellors in tertiary institutions should organize group counselling in and outside the campuses and use the forum to dissuade youths from engaging in any form of criminal activities.
  4. Counsellors in the state should embark on community and online counselling so as to get communities to be security conscious and at the same time change their value orientation of get rich quick syndrome.
  5. Nigerians should be enlightened on the need to show love and affection to the needy and provide assistance to the indigents in order to reduce criminality in Nigeria.

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