Once it was internet fraud, then human trafficking took the centre stage of Nigeria’s multibillion Naira underworld industry. Today, kidnapping seems to be the new ‘big thing’ for criminals looking to make a quick buck.
Inasmuch as we intend to equip rather than scare our readers, our attention was brought to this rising trend because children are fast becoming the targets of these societal misfits. Kidnappers looking to take a quick and sizable ransom now target the wards of well meaning individuals capitalizing on their vulnerability; and their natural fear of having their children killed if they dare report to the police. The trauma a child’s kidnap creates in a home can best be imagined as a nightmare from the pit of hell.
The good part according to security experts is that 80percent of kidnap incidences in Nigeria are preventable. Here are a few tips for preventing child kidnap:
Change Your Neighbourhood. Most people, because of the need to save extra money, live in neighbourhoods that are far below their status and means. Living in such neighbourhoods makes these people very visible and their children, an easy target for kidnappers. Taking up a cheap apartment with the attendant risk of drawing undue jealousy, strife and even kidnap, is not worth it.
Avoid Using Your Child’s Name in Public. Indiscreetly using your child’s name in public or wearing those clothes that have their names boldly inscribed may pose danger to them as strangers posing to be friends or family may use their names to lure them away especially when parents are unsuspecting. Use ‘son’, ‘my dear’ or a pet name only you call them if you have to get their attention in a public place.
Talk on a Need-to Know Basis With Domestic Staff. Discussing your itinerary in the hearing of drivers, gatemen or house-helps could expose your children to kidnap. Also, manage your financial information and other personal stuff discreetly. You never know who may be eavesdropping on your conversations and for what reason.
Change Your Routes Regularly. This age long tip is very valid. Alter your driving routes from time to time. Make detours on your way between work, school and home to create some unpredictability at regular intervals.
Be Security Conscious At Home. Ensuring the gates and doors to your home are locked at night is a must. The couples that inspired this article all woke up in the morning to discover their children were missing; snatched mysteriously in the dead of the night. Of course, kidnappers aren’t spirits; they must have had access through a door or window which should have been locked. Be very alert to your security at home.
In all, always have emergency response numbers at hand. Call for help in case of an emergency! Be wise!