Chinese targets for Nigeria kidnap-for-ransom gangs


Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE latest kidnapping of a Chinese national by militants in Nigeria highlights the security risks for these nationals in the West African country.

Unknown individuals abducted the Chinese road engineer and killed a member of his security detail last Thursday in the north-central Kogi State.

The victim is part of a group of workers working on a major highway project, implemented by the ChuanTie Group.

While no ransom had yet been demanded, it is believed the Chinese national is being held hostage by a kidnapping gang.

Authorities were yet to divulge the identity of the Chinese involved in the abduction but these nationals are targets for kidnap for ransom gangs, owing to the Chinese firms significant presence in the Nigerian economy.

The Asian nationals are targets of criminal gangs looking for hefty payments from businesses.

China has a significant presence in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy by gross domestic product.

The Chinese run numerous projects in various sectors of the economy, ranging from technology to construction.

China is Nigeria’s top trading partner.

The China-Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University notes that more than 8 600 Chinese were working in the West African country in 2020.

The Chinese embassy in Nigeria regularly advises its nationals and businesses to strengthen security amid the threats of kidnapping and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.

The country is also facing protests as its economy struggles.

A spate of kidnappings has been reported across Nigeria, a country under the siege of armed bandits and Islamist sects.

President Bola Tinubu has condemned the abductions.

“The President directs security and intelligence agencies to immediately rescue the victims and ensure that justice is served against the perpetrators of these abominable acts,” presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said.

– CAJ News

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