Nigeria Tam Tam: African viewpoint: Baby-stealing

African viewpoint: Baby-stealing 

In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, Sola Odunfa considers what the spate of child kidnappings reveals about Nigerian society.

Please do me a favour.

Sit your grandchild who is four years or below on your lap and focus on how beautiful they are, their bewitching smile, their absolute trust in you, their complete innocence and what blessing they are to you and your daughter or son.
Think of what you would not do to make them happy.

Then pause and think of what could happen to them and you if someone should kidnap them.

I have had to go through such a nightmare several times since February when a neighbour's 10-month-old baby boy was kidnapped - yes 10 months old - and it dawned on me that child kidnapping had become the vogue in Nigeria.

Mindless criminals seem to have put their hand on the button which would hurt parents most and probably inflict on them a life-long scar....

The trend of kidnappings for ransom started in the Niger Delta several years ago