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Crowdfunding Ransom: A Menace to Nigeria’s National Security

In recent times, a disturbing trend has emerged in Nigeria, posing a severe threat to national security. The organized crime of crowdfunding ransom for kidnappers on social media has gained momentum, creating a web of challenges for law enforcement and security agencies. This feature explores the alarming rise of this practice and emphasizes the critical need for immediate and decisive action to safeguard the nation’s security.

Social media platforms, once hailed for connecting people globally, have become inadvertent accomplices in the rise of a dangerous trend – the crowdfunding of ransom for kidnappers. This nefarious practice, driven by various factors including socio-economic disparities, political instability, and the allure of quick financial gains, is wreaking havoc on Nigeria’s national security.

Legal Implications: Violations of Anti-Terrorism and Cybercrime Laws

The gravity of this threat cannot be overstated. Crowdfunding ransom for kidnappers is not only a moral and ethical concern but a direct violation of Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 and the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act of 2015. The failure to curb this emerging menace not only jeopardizes the safety of citizens but also indicts law enforcement and security agencies tasked with upholding these laws.

The Role of Social Media Influencers and High-Profile Individuals

Compounding the issue is the involvement of social media influencers and high-profile individuals who, knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to the success of these criminal activities. These influencers, through their large followings, inadvertently endorse and amplify campaigns that seek to raise funds for ransom payments. Addressing this multifaceted problem requires a comprehensive approach that targets both the financiers and those inadvertently promoting criminal causes.

Urgent Call to Action: Arresting Threat Actors and Influencers

National security is at stake, and the urgency of the matter demands swift and resolute action from security agencies. Arresting both threat actors and social media influencers involved in crowdfunding ransom is not just a necessity but a deterrent for potential offenders. It is imperative to send a clear message that regardless of an individual’s profile, anyone involved in such criminal activities will face the full force of the law.

This pressing issue necessitates a shift in the focus of security agencies from mere regime security to a more holistic approach that prioritizes national development. By consolidating on the gains of ongoing counter-insurgency operations and fostering national cohesion, security agencies can contribute significantly to the overall progress and stability of Nigeria.

In the face of this emerging threat, decisive action is required to protect the lives and well-being of Nigerian citizens. Crowdfunding ransom for kidnappers not only undermines national security but also erodes the fabric of society. It is time for security agencies to rise to the occasion, demonstrating their commitment to the rule of law and the safety of the nation. The future of Nigeria depends on it.

Mr Fredrick Ikerionwu is an Abuja-based cybersecurity professional and a member of the prestigious Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN).

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