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Insecurity: Journey into the unknown

By Charles Kumolu, Deputy Editor

Take a minute. Imagine yourself as an indigene of Ondo State. You have been living in the United States for two decades, without visiting Nigeria with your children, who you had over there. 

You are in the country with them for the first time. While on Ibadan—Ife-Ilesa-Akure Road, shortly before Ijare Junction, camouflage-wearing men jump out of the bush shooting sporadically.

Your vehicle forcefully comes to a screeching halt. Speaking not passable Pidgin English with a funny accent, they order you, your children and wife into the waiting hands of horrible looking men in the bush.

Two weeks down the line, you are still in the forest with your wife raped and children traumatised in your presence by the ransom-seeking abductors.

As for you, apart from the torture, there are constant threats of being sodomised and killed.

This goes beyond an illustration. It is a perfect picture of what many Nigerians had encountered and would still suffer in the hands of kidnappers across many roads in the country.

If you live to tell your story, what explanation would you give to the children, who you have told to ignore what the western media says about Nigeria?

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Travelling on major highways is a journey into the unknown, as you may either be abducted for ransom or ritual purposes.

Of the six geopolitical zones, none is free of the menace, which scale seems at par with what obtains in war-torn countries.

The result of investigations across the country by Sunday Vanguard would not only terrify you, but make you apply caution on the roads identified as flashpoints.

The widespread nature of the menace and the near similar patterns of operations are such that provoke questions on what security agents are doing.

The actions they, security agents, claim to be taking are in the report by our reporters. However, whether the efforts are good enough is for you to say after reading.

If eventually you find the roles of the police not reassuring, maybe the solutions proffered by the traditional rulers, who our correspondents spoke to, would make you hopeful.

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