LAGOS, Aug.9 (Reuters) – A politician was kidnapped from his home in northern Nigeria on Monday and a Swiss national was kidnapped in another incident in the southwest over the weekend, reported authorities.
Kidnapping for ransom has become a big problem in many parts of Nigeria in recent months, fueled in part by the economic hardship linked to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mohammed Sani Idris, a member of the government of the state of northern Niger, was taken from his home in the village of Baban Tunga overnight by unknown assailants, a spokeswoman for the state governor said.
In southwestern Ogun state, a Swiss national and his Nigerian driver were kidnapped on Saturday after a shootout between their police escort and unknown assailants, said Abimbola Oyeyemi, spokesperson for the police of the United States. State.
“In an exchange of gunfire, the police killed two of the bandits but the others used the victims as human shields so that the police could no longer act,” he said.
“The police and other security agencies have mobilized and are on the trail of the bandits to rescue the victims.”
The increase in kidnappings and armed robberies, especially in rural areas, is having a devastating effect on Nigerian society, with food shortages increasing as farmers cannot access their fields and people are too afraid. to travel anywhere.
The crisis is particularly severe in the northwestern states, where more than 1,000 schoolchildren have been kidnapped since December in attacks on schools. Some were released after paying ransoms.
Reporting by Libby George, Camillus Eboh and Tife Owolabi, written by Estelle Shirbon, editing by Angus MacSwan
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