KADUNA’S wealthy residents have now resorted to pretending to be poor and experiencing hardship to prevent them falling victims to kidnappers who have terrorised the city of late preying on the affluent.
Over recent months, Kaduna State has established itself as the kidnapping capital of Nigeria, with schools in particular being targeted. Heavily armed criminals abduct school pupils in exchange for huge ransom payments and they also target the well heeled in Kaduna, who are known for living luxurious lifestyles.
Across Kaduna, many of those known for riding expensive cars, wearing costly clothing and living affluent lifestyles have now gone underground, pretending to be experiencing hard times. Besides going underground, they have now subjected themselves to rigorous exercises in order to reduce their weight and escape any form of suspicion by bandits and other criminals.
They have equally refused to render any form of help, especially that which relates to financial assistance. Kidnappers have their informants around the city of Kaduna and surrounding villages who always point out those to be kidnapped for ransom.
One Kakau resident, Jonathan Bulus whose neighbour was kidnapped a day after he sold two cars, said he wondered how the kidnappers knew he had money. He added that these criminals lived far away in the bush, so it was amazing how they know who has money to pay for ransom and who does not.
Mr Bulus said: “I am yet to come to terms with the reality. Kidnappers who stay inside the bush will locate someone’s house, come directly and start shooting to scare people away before they will kidnap their victims, who may even be right in the midst of people.
“Someone must be responsible. No one is trusted in Kaduna anymore, as you don’t know what will happen next.”
One local resident in Sabo Tasha, Dr Moses Olawale, added: “Those you think are able to assist, sometimes turn their back at you. No one claims to be rich again and nobody is ready to assist any longer.
“The situation we find ourselves in Kaduna today requires everyone to use his/her wisdom. You don’t even need security because they are not helping matters. Security personnel cannot withstand kidnappers because of their powerful weapons.”
Across Kaduna, kidnappers have been targeting individuals’ homes whom they attack mostly at midnight. Most often, they leave with their victims before the arrival of security personnel.