Background of the Study

Nigeria has experienced unprecedented levels of insecurity as a result of bandit organizations, kidnappers, assassins, secessionist groups, armed robbery attacks, abduction, and, more recently, the development of ritual killers. The phrase “kidnapping” is difficult to define accurately, according to Asuquo (2009), because it varies from one state to the next and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It refers to the illegal detention, seizure, and removal of a person against their will. It is a common law offense, and the most significant feature is that it is an unwanted act on the part of the victim. It is a restriction of someone else’s liberty that violates the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution’s provision of freedom of movement, from which all other rights flow. Nigeria, in particular, is home to a wide range of kidnappings. The increased desire to understand the conduct of the kidnappers in connection to the fate of the hostages has prompted recent study to describe abduction in Nigeria based on the differentiating traits of the perpetrators. Bandits, ritualists, scammers, baby factories, insurgents, pirates at sea, and terrorists have all been linked to kidnappings in Nigeria (Oyewole 2015). According to Osumah and Aghedo, kidnapping in Nigeria is frequently motivated by ritual sacrifice, commercial, or political activity (2011). “A set of patterns or defined methods and orders for completing religious deeds or ceremonies,” according to Shujaa (2009). Ritual killings, he continued, are a particularly horrific and extreme form of criminal homicide in which the killers remove the victim’s critical organs for use in “holy” rites involving human sacrifice. Human sacrifice is a blood sacrifice in which a living being is killed as a ritual offering to a deity or spirit in the hopes of getting good fortune in the form of general good fortune or the fulfillment of a specific prayer (La Fontaine 2011). The skull, genitals, breasts, eyeballs, intestine, arms, and legs, as well as unearthed dead bodies or their cut parts, are among the sacrificed things for this rite.

Statement of the problem

In Nigeria and other parts of Africa, the concept of ritual kidnapping can be deconstructed as a nexus between kidnapping and ritual sacrifice. Unfortunately, the threat of kidnapping in Nigeria has increased as a result of the operations of ritual killers. The process often involves victims that are charmed and made unconscious by the abductors at the point of capture. After being abducted for ritual, more victims die than survive their ordeal. Victims may become insane, dead, destitute, and deformed, and some may even become mobile corpses as a result of their ordeal (Gbinije 2014). Kidnapping for ritual, according to Oyewole (2016), is the illegal seizing of a person in order to kill and/or sever a part of his or her body for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. In contrast, nearly 4,000 cases of kidnapping have been reported to the police in the last decade with no sign of the victims (NBS 2013). The majority of these captives are thought to have been kidnapped for ceremonial purposes rather than for ransom or political gain. Kidnapping for ritual entails killing or removing a body part of an abducted person in order to use it as an object of ritual sacrifice in order to obtain ritual-money, favor, renown, success, power, and protection. Despite this, academics and policymakers have paid little attention to the phenomena. Furthermore, despite the fact that the majority of the literature on kidnapping in Nigeria has focused on cases motivated by ransom or political gain (Badiora 2015; Onuoha 2014 and Osumah and Oyewole 2015),

Objective of the Study

The overall goal of this research is to look into the relationship between kidnapping and ritualism. The study’s objectives are as follows:

To figure out how common abduction is in Nigeria.

To learn more about the elements that encourage abduction in Nigeria.

To determine whether ritualism plays a role in kidnapping in Nigeria.

To see if there is any link between kidnapping and ritualism in Nigeria.

Research Question

  1. What is the current kidnapping rate in Nigeria?
  2. What are the elements that influence the spread of abduction in Nigeria?
  3. Is there a link between ritualism and kidnapping in Nigeria?
  4. Is there a link between kidnapping and ritualistic practices in Nigeria?

Significance of the study

The findings of this study will be useful to government officials, policymakers, and security personnel. It will enhance government awareness of security shortcomings and the need to adopt credible and implementable steps to stop assaults on ordinary people and strengthen national security. Furthermore, this study will educate Nigerian security personnel on the importance of being exposed to internationally tenable best practices and know-how in counter-abduction methods (through periodic training) in order to improve their operational efficiency in combating violent crimes, terrorism, armed robbery, and kidnapping.

Scope of the study

The goal of this research is to examine the relationship between kidnapping and ritualism. The research will also look into the rate of kidnapping in Nigeria. It looked into the variables that encourage abduction in Nigeria, as well as if ritualism plays a role in kidnapping there. It will also look into whether there is a link between kidnapping and rites of passage in Nigeria. However, the research is limited to the Uyo Metropolis in Akwaibom State.

Limitation of the study

The researchers ran into some minor roadblocks while conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The scarcity of literature on the impact of ritualism on national security was a major stumbling block. Obtaining relevant materials, books, or information, as well as the data collection process, took a significant amount of effort and organization. The study was also constrained in time because it only looked at the South-South region with a focus on the Uyo Metropolis in Akwaibom State. As a result, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to other locations or states, leaving a need for future research.

Definition of terms

Abduction: Abduction is the illegal removal of someone from their home, usually with the use of force.

Kidnapping is defined as the unlawful abduction and carrying away of a person by force or trickery, as well as the unlawful seizure and imprisonment of a person against his will.

Ritualism, often known as ritual killings, is a violent and extreme kind of criminal homicide in which the victim’s vital organs are removed for use in “holy” rites by the slayers.


M. E. Asuquo, M. E. Asuquo, M. E. Asuquo (2009). Kidnapping on the Rise in Akwa Ibom State and Its Impact on Public Order Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, unpublished term paper

Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, Adewumi Israel Badiora, African Security Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 55-62.

Bobson Gbinije. “Politicians, Voodoo, and Power.” The 21st of December is Vanguard Day.

“Ritual Murder?” Jean La Fontaine, Jean La Fontaine, Jean La Fontaine, Jean La Fontaine, Jean La Fontaine, Jean La Font Open Anthropology Cooperative Press, Interventions Occasional Paper Series #3.

Onuoha, Freedom. 2014.

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