Vol. 5 No. 3 (2021)

The Rising Spate of Kidnapping in Northern States of Nigeria: A Critical Evaluation of National Security

Published 2021-11-27


The tragic spate of kidnappings in Nigeria, particularly in Northern Region has become irritating. The frequency of kidnapping has reached such a devastating point that citizens of Nigeria started to lose confidence in the government, particularly in its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties. In addition to the above, kidnapping in Northern States of Nigeria is prevalent and can be targeted at individual or groups and the major targets are considered to be affluent enough to pay ransom in exchange of their freedom. The issue of insecurity becomes the order of the day in the country to the extent that citizens do not have certainty of security in their day-to-day activities. It is against this background that this paper evaluates the recent increase of kidnap for ransom in Northern States of Nigeria and how it affects national security. In doing so, this study adopts the social contract theory. In an attempt to evaluate and discuss these issues, the paper employed mixed methods of data collection. The paper argues that the Nigerian state fails to fulfil the terms of the contract and the essence of the contract is to unite people through the instruments of the state to protect the weak from the oppressors, restrain the ambitious and secure for everyone the possession of what belongs to him or her.The paper in its findings discovered that, the basic reason for state formation is to provide social well-being by providing security of life, property, protection and promotion of basic rights through good governance and leadership. However, in its recommendations, the paper recommends that, good governance with state’s capacity of exercising authority, ability for problem solving, conflict resolution, effective and efficient management of resources for development are noted as the meansto address Nigeria’s national security issues.