Security Advisory: Increasing kidnap-for-ransom incidents in Lagos

Security issues in NigeriaThis security advisory was sent out to expatriates who work in oil companies in Lagos. But foreigners aren't the only ones being abducted in Lagos…so decided to share with everyone. 

Recently in Lagos State, specifically between February 10 2013 and today, at least 10 confirmed kidnap-for-ransom incidents involving 12 victims have been recorded between Ikoyi, Victoria Island and the Lekki-Epe axis of the state. One incident occurred near Abraham Adesanya Estate on the Lekki-Epe expressway on February 10; four incidents on February 23, March 1, 21, and 25, occurred at Awoyaya area on the same route; two incidents in Lekki on March 23 – one on the alternative route, and the other a foiled kidnap attempt along Admiralty Way; one incident on Awolowo road in Ikoyi on March 24; and two incidents involving a Briton and three Lebanese in Victoria Island on March 23 and 27 respectively. These incidents appear to be random and opportunistic but mostly happened late at night. However, high-profile incidents are usually preceded by prolonged monitoring of intended targets.
While most victims are typically released after a few days of captivity and the payment of some ransom to the criminals, the psychological trauma and the possible financial burden placed on victims, their families, friends and even colleagues, lasts much longer.

Personnel are by this advisory reminded that they are primarily responsible for their personal security. Bearing this in mind:

· Vary your routine as much as practicable – the more predictable your movements and schedules are to and from places of leisure, entertainment, worship, shopping, and schooling, the easier it is for a kidnapper to plan and execute your abduction.

· Regularly review your personal security, the security around your home, and your own or your spouse’s private business premises.

· Limit late night outings.

· Be especially careful and alert when you have to stop for any reason at night, including traffic lights; do not stop on isolateand/or poorly lit highways.

· Limit ATM use and large financial transactions to banks located at more secure areas like MPN premises.

· If you suspect a vehicle tailing you on the road, drive to the nearest Police station or public place where help is near.

· Counsel children never to leave home without telling you, and to maintain communication with a parent or guardian.

· As always, during festive periods and at other times, be aware of the risk posed by large gatherings, as they might constitute attractive targets for violent criminals and terrorists.

· Finally, review the security tips shared at the office with members of your household, practice security stand downs with your family, and be sure to discuss this and other security advisories with them.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websits. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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