Kidnapping For Ransom

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Gunmen

 

The fear in the land is very palpable and worrisome.  You no longer feel  comfortable and safe on sighting a young man  with a gun approaching your car in a traffic hold-up either alone or with your children even if he is in police uniform. You   can’t be comfortable when you sight  people in either military or  police uniform on the high -way with rifle. lnfact the sight  alone sends jitters into your spine. Your temperature often rises  in that panicky mood each time you sight  any one with fire- arm  in an  inconspicuous  situation alone along the road.

 

The days are evil, so you hear from every one on the street. There is no money in circulation so the boys have armed themselves looking for those they suspect have the money. So, they have devices  different  strategies  of  waylaying those with  the money and of course they have included foreigners on their l ist  to be kidnapped. When it was rampant in 2006, the Niger Delta militants held sway as piracy was then the other of the day while in lasted.  Few years later, Boko Haram  joined the fray , abducting  people not  mainly for ransom but to inculcate their false Islamic ideology in their captives.

 

Today, even the  Nigeria police press statements are more of the arrest of kidnappers  who are  in their dozens as they are always classified as “ dangerous kidnappers”. Few months back, it was the news of  school children  that were kidnapped from their school premises in Lagos. We also heard of the kidnap of retired Deputy Director of the State security services, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, an Editor of a national newspaper, top businessmen,  wife of a Central Bank  manager, several priests  and Pastors, lnfact  thier  target on professionals seems on the increase. Many of such cases have been recorded including the recent kidnap of a deputy police commissioner.

 

The list  of kidnap cases is endless  not forgetting those that could not survive the cruelty . While the people look up to the security agencies and the government to provide  adequate security as stipulated in the constitution, many are thinking otherwise. To many they troope to churches for blessed items to provide the needed   spiritual protection while others like foreign governments  periodically send security alert messages to all their nationals. For instance, America, Britain and Canada recently alerted their citizens to be extremely vigilant detailing the type of criminality occurring in the country, the states to watch out and areas to avoid. This makes one to ask when last did Nigeria government send  security alert to Nigerians in Diaspora warning them of their safety and how to avoid an impending danger like we are witnessing in South Africa. A country that cares, is a country that is loved by its citizens. A country that values the life of its citizens would be valued by its citizens. Foreigners were advised to be extra vigilant in the affluent areas of Lagos and its neighboring states like Ogun, Osun and Ondo states where fleeing members of Boko Haram were recently arrested. Other states fingered include, all the Niger Delta States, Port- Harcourt in Rivers  state and Abia, lmo and Anambra  states. These foreigners were further advised to stay away from areas  where white  expatriates frequently patronise like bars, restaurants and the beaches. These foreigners were informed  of some of the tactics often used by kidnappers adding that their major modus is to kidnap for ransom.

 

According to the message from Canada to all its citizens in Nigeria, it advised: “Residents and foreigners alike have been abducted and held captive, sometimes for days, until ransom was paid”. It is expedient therefore to further analyse these foreign security alerts. First, these countries are like the mother hen that sites the kite and alerts its chicken to run for safety. What could have informed such alert if not the insecurity in the  Nigeria and   of course their value  system for lives of their citizens. Now, how can  foreign investors  come into  Nigeria to invest in such an unsecured society.  Are the investors not coming from these same foreign countries?.  A society where instead of the government  to find lasting solutions  to  its security issues  is giving the impression  of one without an answer to the mirage of security problems. Added to this, is the Police which ought to be the bastion of safety is lead by a man who dances more with controversies and he is completely enmeshed  and distracted  from his major assignment  to  protect Nigerians.

 

The situation has become so worse that security observers no longer know if the lnspector General of  Police  has any time to put on his thinking cap to think out ways to fight  crime  with the attendant controversies surging at him. This is not in the best interest of the Nigeria Police.  A time was when the head of a sister security agency in old Anambra state was enmeshed in several controversies, the then Head of State who today is the President of Nigeria, directed that the officer  should step down. Such stepping down were recorded in the Police during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, so why not now, to save the Police  institution  from further sliding like a derailed  truck.

 

When a leader is getting over roped with controversies, he  should be advised to step down in the interest of the institution. One thinks, these are controversies too many.  What should  gladden  the heart of Nigerians and the  President who  appointed him is performances and not controversies. Never in the history of the police was a  self- confessed billionaire kidnapper Chukwudi Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans), whose arrest became  shrouded  in controversy and the question is, were  Lawrence Anini, Shina Rambo and Ishola Oyenusi not robbers and kidnapper? Shall we continue like this so that the integrity of the police can go down the drain ? Take a look at the Customs service, though it was enmeshed with political controversy, but Nigerians are thankful for all the  recent prompt seizures  and  interventions  of illegal importations of arms into the country.  By such performances, many have forgotten and forgiven them their sins if any. Not so with the Police and its inspector General, Mr Ibrahim ldris.

 

The foreign countries that sent security alert to their citizens in Nigeria cannot be caught hands down because in their various countries all hands are always on desk in ensuring the security of lives and property of their citizens.  They are aware that  rising unemployment rate  is one major index of  crime wave in any society.  It affects the socio- economic graph and if not well handled could result into insecurity as is daily witnessed  around Nigerian and in some western countries. They are aware that  when youths  population continues to increase without any check or   being adequately absorbed into various  economic sectors, the country security would surely be tampered with. Two years have gone and the promised  job provision  by the Buhari administration are almost like a mirage, yet here is a country  with vast land begging to be cultivated. Here is a country with  various expertise begging to  be harnessed  to establish industries that can absorb these idle hands all over the villages.

 

In few more weeks, these  idle youths would want to celebrate the end of year and they may be tempted to advance their kidnapping skills for ransom. Like the foreigners  were advised so Nigerians should also be advised.

 

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Written by Ben Okezie

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