The spate of kidnappings across Nigeria has become very worrisome.
Hardly a day passes without report of somebody or some people being abducted in one place or another especially on the highways.
In the past few weeks, many Nigerians, from the high to the low, have been kidnapped.
The kidnapping business in Nigeria from North to east, south and west has been mostly perpetrated by criminal gangs and violent groups.
Sadly, it has become such a threat that many are wondering how not to fall victims.
To protect yourself and your family, here are tips on how to prevent kidnapping:
· Pray to avoid being a victim
At this critical phase, no one is safe. Hence, seeking God’s refuge appears to be the only way out in terms of spiritual protection.
For the victims and their families and friends, the consequences are even more frightful, and that is why one must pray to avoid being a victim.
· Stop routine movements
Driving or walking through the same route will make it easy for suspecting abductors to gather information about you and can make it easy for them to track you down when they are ready to strike.
Find other streets or highways you can use when driving from home to work and back.
· Don’t discuss your family with strangers
Whatever issues you have with your family must not be discussed with strangers.
This is to maintain safety as it has been reported previously that kidnappers also gather information from those in one’s neighborhood.
· Do proper checks before employing workers
Before you employ your new house keeper, driver or any other employee, please do a proper background check about that person.
Know the family members and let the person give the name of a guarantor that can stand in for him or her.
This should be done because some people who are kidnappers may pretend to be seeking employment with you.
· Maintain a moderate lifestyle
To avoid being kidnapped, you should check your lifestyle. If you have been living loud, try to do it in moderation now by adorning not-too-expensive wears that announce you.
Looking expensive all the time can make you a target of kidnappers.
· Don’t discuss money publicly
To avoid being a victim of kidnappers, another area you must check is receiving phone calls that involve discussing money, especially huge sums.
When you discuss such amounts of money in public, you send signals to kidnappers that you are rich and can be their victim.
· Know your neighbours
To avoid living close to a potential kidnapper, get to know that person living close to you well. Find out if the person is living alone or not and the kind of job that person does for a living.
· Don’t get too close to a stranger
People that you don’t know, try not to share valuable information with them. That stranger may be a kidnapper in disguise so avoid strictly any stranger that tries to move close to you unnecessarily.
· Keep emergency numbers
It is important to keep emergency numbers like contacts of Police that you can quickly call whenever you sense you are being monitored by kidnappers or you notice anything strange in your environment.
· Be aware of your environment
One of the major ways to avoid kidnapping is to be thoroughly vigilant which means you live in your house like an investigator.
This entails being aware of everything happening around you and your family every time. Vigilance keeps you alert when others are not.
· Always keep your phone handy
Keeping your phone with you at all times is very important as it can be a source of help when there is a threat of kidnap.
Don’t just keep your phone with you but make sure you have airtime, no matter how little so that it can be useful in times of danger.
· When you notice a threat, attract the attention of people
Whenever you notice any threat of kidnap around you, attract the attention of people around to yourself by screaming or shouting.
Keep doing this until you notice that people have gathered around you and can come to your rescue.
· Don’t get too close to a stranger
Try not to share valuable information with those you don’t know. That stranger may be a kidnapper in disguise so avoid strictly any stranger that tries to move close to you unnecessarily.
· Let someone know where you’re going
If you must meet a new acquaintance, make sure someone knows where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
Leave a message with a family member or friend where you’re headed and if possible, give the name of the person you’re about to meet and other details you might know.
· Do not accept rides from strangers
Once you get into a stranger’s car, you are at their mercy.
They could either incapacitate you or hold you hostage and you might not have an opportunity to defend yourself.
· Be careful with revealing data on social media
Be careful not to reveal too much about yourself or your family members via social media. No need to flaunt new cars, houses, or condominium units.
Never reveal addresses and be sure to turn off the GPS function on your smartphones. Don’t post on social media the places you frequent.
Some people are unaware that Facebook and other sites reveal the specific location from where you are posting on social media.
· Be vigilant not only at night but at all times
It is true that most kidnapping crimes occur at night but there are also a few cases that happen in broad daylight. We should always be vigilant, not only at night.
· Keep your financial transactions confidential
Kidnappers are known to take people forcefully to demand ransom. They give conditions for the release of their captures, sending panic to the family and friends of the victims.
Research shows that 7 out of 10 kidnappers always request that money be paid for the release of kidnap victims.
These demands are mostly made because they believe the victims have the money at their disposal. So, they basically target people who either have access to a large sum of money or are rich
The most logical way to avoid these unnecessary attentions is not to reveal your financial history to anyone! Vital information like your bank statement of account should not be handled carelessly.
· Avoid public donations
Don’t try to be a money bag in public. Do your best not to make public donations in church and in your neighbourhood meetings as well. If you donate publicly, you are giving people an indication of your wealth. Anonymous donations are the best.
· Don’t be predictable
When embarking on trips, don’t take the same roads all the time. If possible, you can go through flight. Try to be unpredictable.
Take alternative routes, use a different car, get into a cab instead. This could throw off any kidnappers on your tail.
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