“Show empathy to the kidnappers,” Police offer tips on how to survive after being kidnapped

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu

The Nigeria Police Force says trying to play mind games on kidnappers, such as empathising with them, is one way of surviving a kidnapping situation as a victim.

In an article published by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, he offered necessary tips to be observed by Nigerians after they have been abducted.

The article is another one in a series published by the Force to advise Nigerians on several security situations such as how to behave with police officers, and how to avoid getting kidnapped altogether.

In the latest article, Mba advised abducted victims to be careful about making any suspicious moves as it could make jittery kidnappers make fatal mistakes such as pulling the trigger.

The Police spokesperson said the most important option for victims is to cooperate with the kidnappers as an unplanned attempt to escape may become too risky.

He also advised kidnapped victims to avoid openly making any facial contact with the kidnappers. However, he said victims should try to memorise the kidnappers description if they get an opportunity without endangering their lives.


Other tips offered include obeying all instructions to avoid unnecessary argument; avoiding attitude that will provoke kidnappers; and listening to conversations and keeping a mental note of the details about their names, accent, slang and other information about the abductors to assist the police in investigation after gaining freedom.

Mba also advised victims to avoid sustaining physical injury as getting medical attention might be difficult, especially since they have no idea how long they’ll be in captivity.

He further noted that faking empathy with the kidnappers might also help to soften their hearts and make the situation much easier than usual.

He said, “Gradually try to win the kidnappers’ trust. Try playing mind games with them especially with any of them you consider less hardened. 

“For instance show empathy to the kidnappers even if you are acting it. If for example they claim they were driven into kidnapping for reason of unemployment, tell them you understand and blame someone else for not providing them a decent job.

“You may try talking them into pitying you or putting yourself in any of their relatives’ shoes.”

Mba also advised victims to lie on the floor during a Police rescue operation to prevent getting hit by stray bullets, and also identify themselves to rescuers as soon as it is safe to do so.

On a final note, the Force spokesperson urged kidnap victims to only plan an escape if it’s absolutely safe to do so, and that it should only be a last resort because there’s no escape plan that’s absolutely risk-free


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