BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Abduction is a process of forcefully taking someone and holding them hostage in exchange for a ransom payment. It can be traced back to the 17th century, when the children of wealthy households were kidnapped for “ransom while asleep (nap)” (Tzanelli, 2009). Abduction is an infamous and evil behavior orchestrated by criminals with the intent of kidnapping and holding pupils captive for a ransom payment. Student kidnapping is a heinous, heinous, awful, and seasonal crime that foreshadows security difficulties in Lagos state. Unemployed youth, gangsters, communal hooligans, land grabbers, terrorists, ritualists, and spiritual fathers of various religious associations are among the culprits.
Abduction criminals select their victims based on their ability to pay the ransom or to get something in return from their exchange (Tzanelli, 2006). Turner (2008) claims that the phenomena began in the Niger Delta region as a freedom struggle by militants protesting the devastation of their environment caused by oil sector activities.
According to Turner, (2008), it quickly became a money-making opportunity through the kidnapping of expatriate oil workers for large ransoms. Kidnapping has since become a daily occurrence in the South-South states of Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and the South-East states of Abia, Imo, and Anambra. The kidnappings of students in northwestern Nigeria indicate the growing strength of criminal gangs as well as the federal government’s and its security forces’ weaknesses. Kidnapping is common across the country, and it is frequently carried out by tiny, ad hoc organizations. According to Uzorma, & Nwanegbo-Ben, (2014), The northwest is getting a lot of attention right now because, unlike elsewhere, the offenders are well-organized criminal groups, and the number of victims is staggering. In December, over 300 boys were taken in Kankara. Only a few days later, more than eighty Dandume students were targeted in an attempted kidnapping. Both incidents were reminiscent of the 2014 kidnapping of around 300 schoolgirls in the northeastern town of Chibok.
The Nigerian education system is in crisis in numerous ways, including access and academic quality. A recent wave of mass abduction of pupils, on the other hand, may represent the most serious existential threat and crisis to the education system. More than 600 students were kidnapped while at school in three distinct incidents in less than three months, between December 2020 and March 2021 (Turner, 2008).
Nigeria’s security breakdown is wreaking havoc on education, particularly in the country’s north. As of early this year, the 12-year-old Boko Haram insurgency and the recent spike in armed banditry had displaced more than 2 million people and forced the closure of an estimated 600 schools. With this year’s epidemic of student kidnappings, families have also withdrawn their children from school. Boko Haram astounded Nigerians and the rest of the world in 2014 when it kidnapped 276 girls from their school dormitory in the northern town of Chibok. Seven years later, more than 100 of the girls are still unaccounted for, and a recent book believes that 40 have perished (Soyombo, 2009).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria is also significantly concentrated in the Boko Haram issue, which has crippling consequences on economic and educational systems. With the current series of school kidnappings, community and family trust in the education system may be eroded dramatically, exacerbating the problem of access to excellent and fair education. Furthermore, with the Nigerian education system still reeling from the devastation caused by the lengthy school closures caused by COVID-19, adding insecurity issues to the mix could lead to the system’s irreversible collapse (Soyombo, 2009).
Thomas, and Nta, (2009) noticed that State-run educational institutions, like those in other conflict-torn countries, have been targeted for attack. Insurgent groups want to abolish traditional education and replace it with education that is more compatible with their beliefs and ideals. In Borno State, attacks on education have been led primarily by Boko Haram (which means “Western Education is Forbidden”), and more recently by an ISIS-affiliated splinter group, which intends to introduce forms of education based on religious teaching and radical ideologies that align with their worldview.
The purposeful targeting, arson, and looting of schools began in 2009, and schools have been frequently attacked since then. Children were even utilized as suicide bombers in some cases. From December 2013 to June 2015, during the most acute phases of the conflict, all schools in the northeastern states were closed. Currently, 824 of the 1,359 government schools in Borno State (or approximately 61% of them) are closed owing to insecurity and the ongoing conflict. Many children in the neighborhood are still impacted by Boko Haram and ISIS-affiliated groups as a result of this.
Kidnapping has created serious security challenges for the Lagos metropolis, affecting secondary schools and creating a negative image for the state. With a series of kidnapping incidents in many parts of the Six (6) Education District, the security of Lagos secondary schools is jeopardized. Student kidnapping or abduction has become a profitable business, similar to armed robbery. The rate of such a threat is geometric in nature, whereas the security tactics used to combat it are arithmetic in nature. Abduction is a social vice that has plagued Lagos secondary school students. Though the recent spate of school children abduction has increased, effective policies by government has not been put in place (Turner, 2008).
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of students abduction in Nigeria and possible Mitigating Strategies. Other aims of this study are:
i. To determine the causes of students abduction in Nigeria
ii. To assess the impact students abduction has on the education sector
iii. To assess the impact of students abduction on Nigeria’s security
iv. To discuss the different possible ways in which students abduction can be prevented
The following research questions guide this research.
i. What are the causes of students abduction in Nigeria?
ii. What are the impacts of students abduction on the education sector?
iii. What are the impaacts of students abduction on the Nigeria’s security?
iv. What are the poosible ways school students abduction in Nigeria can be prevented?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be greatly significant to the general public as the findings of this study will reveal the effects of abduction on the education sector and on the Nigerian society as a whole. This study will also be of great benefit to the federal government as it will lead to the formulating of effective policies that will help curb or stop this endemic.
This study will also be beneficial to school administrators, education board, school owners as they it will help them to know how to protect students in their care. Finally, this study will seve as an existing material for further research by scholars and future referencing.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will look at An assessment of the prevalence of students abduction in Nigeria and possible Mitigating Strategies. It will also look at the ways students abduction has impacted on the education sector and the Nigerian security. It will further focus on the causes of students abduction and the possible solutions.
This study will be using students and teachers of Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria as enrolled participants for the survey.
LIMITATIONS TO THE STUDY
This study will be limited to An assessment of the prevalence of students abduction in Nigeria and possible Mitigating Strategies. It is also limited to the ways students abduction has impacted on the education sector and the Nigerian security. It will further be limited to the causes of students abduction and the possible solutions.
Finally, this study will be limited to students and teachers of Igbobi College, Lagos State. Findings of this study cannot be used anywhere else in the world until further research is carried out.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assessment: the action of assessing someone or something
Prevalence: the act or condition of being prevalent
Mitigating: having the effect of making something bad less severe, serious, or painful.
Strategy: a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.