Kidnapping in the South eastern States of contemporary Nigeria: An empirical investigation into the social and demographic characteristics of offenders
The study empirically investigate salient social and demographic characteristics as determinants of kidnapping in the South-eastern States of contemporary Nigeria using inmates detained on the grounds of kidnapping in Abakaliki and Umuahia Prisons as a unit of analysis. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. A specific non-probability sampling technique known as the „respondent-driven-sampling. was used in selecting a sample of 86 from a total population of 123 inmates in the two prisons. Data collected from in-depth oral interview were analyzed using thematic analysis. The study revealed that certain social and demographic characteristics such as age, occupation, gender, social backgrounds, marital status, and the like are responsible for kidnapping in Nigeria; kidnapping enterprise is dominated by men in their youthful age; and weak/lack of strong religious attachment exerts undue pressure on some people, thereby luring them into kidnapping. The study recommends that youth empowerment should be vigorously pursued and earnestly considered in the national development plans; conscientious efforts should be made by all levels of Government in Nigeria to combat social inequality and exclusion; and provision of social security for the teeming unemployed youths and the disadvantaged in the country pending when they will be gainfully employed.
Keywords: Empirical Investigation, Kidnapping, Social and Demographic Characteristics, Contemporary Nigeria, Offenders.