There was palpable panic as the body of a young man was found with one of his ear missing on a refuse dump in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.
The body of the young man believed to be in his 20s was found in the early morning of Sunday, January 28, 2024.
According to reports, his hands were tied behind his back and bearing signs of brutalization relating to a suspected cult clash when the body was found.
It was said that the assailants had placed his body in a sack and cut off one of his ears before dumping it.
The incident occurred in the vicinity of Iorpuu Adai Street, Nyiman Layout, HUDCO quarters, in Makurdi.
The discovery was made by worshippers en route to morning service on Sunday.
Police said they are yet to be informed of the ugly incident.
Meanwhile, Residents of at least 19 Nigerian states and travellers alike have been gnawing in anxiety over growing incidents of wanton killings and kidnapping.
The states witnessing this scrouge including Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Benue, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Kogi, Abia, Kwara, Ondo, Katsina, Niger, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Osun and Ekiti.
The trauma inflicted on families of victims of kidnapping is twofold: the agonizing uncertainty of loved ones’ fate and the crushing burden of raising ransom.
For those fortunate enough to escape alive, the ordeal is akin to death with a pulse. WhatsApp groups and platforms like X and Facebook are now filled with desperate pleas for crowdfunding, a grim testament to the pervasiveness of this scourge.
Even those unable to garner ransom face a grim fate left at the mercy of brutal perpetrators who, despite collecting money, sometimes snuff out lives with callous disregard. Statistics paint a harrowing picture: in Nigeria, five out of ten people either know a kidnapping victim or someone who does.
This epidemic comes despite significant budgetary allocations to defence. Last year alone, N1.55 trillion was earmarked for security, placing it among the highest sectoral expenditures.
The 2024 budget further highlights this commitment, with N3.25 trillion, or 12% of the total N27 trillion, dedicated to defence and security.
Yet, with over a decade of grappling with kidnappings, the situation is deteriorating rapidly. Emboldened by their success, perpetrators have shed their cautious confines, venturing beyond highways and farms to attack residential areas brazenly.
Investigations reveal staggering ransoms paid within just this year. Some states have witnessed sums exceeding N200 million since January, a grim echo of a 2023 SBM Intelligence report detailing over N300 million collected nationwide between July 2022 and June 2023. This figure, the report noted, constitutes a mere 6% of the staggering N5 billion demanded by kidnappers during that period.
High-profile cases alone paint a disturbing picture. Nabeeha Al-Kadriya, an Abuja-based university student, was tragically murdered despite an N700 million ransom demand for her and her family.