Foremost Nigerian political scientist, Prof Adigun Agbaje has been reported kidnapped. How it happened and where are still out of details but the news of the professor’s fall into the hands of kidnappers is spreading fast. An academic at a nearby university to Prof Agbaje’s University of Ibadan told Intervention he had reliably learnt so.
It is not clear why anyone might want to kidnap Prof Agbaje. He is neither a money man nor a politician in any form. Interestingly, the kidnappers are said to be demanding a huge sum of money.
Prof Agbaje was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (DVC) at the University of Ibadan a decade back. His kidnap lends credibility to the popular belief that nobody and nowhere is safe and that there are different kinds of kidnappers: some for money and some for some unknown purposes.
Nigeria has been put on a panic mood since October 25th, 2022 when major powers – the US, UK, Australia and so on issue travel advisory indicating high risk of terrorist attack, some of them evacuating their non-emergency diplomatic staff from Nigeria.
Two broad strands of opinion have greeted the advisory. One is that of an agenda of weaponizing a moral panic aimed at delegitimize the Nigerian government for whatever reasons. Contrary opinion is that intelligence establishment of Western nations have always correctly predicted most previous terrorist attacks in Nigeria. Only time will tell which of the two contending interpretations is correct. But some people might interpret the grabbing of a high standing professor as a sign that anyone else is game.
It is about time something drastic is done in Nigeria to end this stage of siege, tension, uncertainty and a life of perhaps. It has taken too long.