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KIDNAPPINGS: WHO WILL PAY RANSOM FOR NIGERIANS ? By Junaid Yunus Olalekan

KIDNAPPINGS: WHO WILL PAY RANSOM FOR NIGERIANS ?

Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

The spate of kidnapping and banditry in Nigeria is enough to take any reasonable person off his or her comfort zone. Najeebah’s gruesome murder amidst her four other siblings few days ago is a microcosm of the disaster that has befallen Nigeria as a result of kidnapping and banditry.

These bloody felons have castrated themselves off any iota of conscience, civility and Godliness. They are neck deep in the baptism of blood and jungle mentality.

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Should we allow this reign of terror to continue? Should we stand akimbo watching evils growing feathers and flying in every nook and cranny of this beautiful land?

Permit me to answer myself, No!
It is a disturbing trend when the nation’s capital is under the siege of people of dark values and our security apparatus seems not to get over the challenge.

The question is who is still free? Who is not held hostage? This is because injustice somewhere is injustice everywhere. So, it is safe to say that I and you have been held hostage, indeed, the entire nation!

Who will then pay the ransom? This should be the question that must get an immediate answer and action. It is we Nigerians that must pay the ransom! Our leaders are on call in this regard. Mr. President must be very intentional and resolute to deal- decisively – with these men of underworld.

They live within us and do their information gathering among us. Their sphere of operation is not far from us . As a result of this, security agencies must be put to a serious task in this regard. Non performing or underperforming Sherif should be told to leave the stage without hesitation. This time is not smiling at all when the entire nation is under siege .

I will be missing a unique point if I fail to call out on the FCT minister who has been held hostage by the political brouhaha of “water pass fire syndrome” in far away Rivers state to free himself from this unnecessary distraction and face a more serious challenge in the nation’s capital.

He is in charge of the affairs of the FCT and the bulk stops on his table. He should stop singing ” on your mandate we shall stand” rather, he should stand tall to support and work for the mandate.

On top of this, the permissiveness of our society has created a fertile ground and sufficient alibi for crime and criminality. No one bothers too much on sudden wealth anymore. Imagine how secondary school leavers move around with exotic cars and their friends and families celebrate this dark feat. Yahoo boys is an euphemism for criminality.

Unfortunately ,that has become our new normal. Our next neighbours are yahoos and yahoo pluses and everyone is happy! We need to pay our ransom by calling evils evils. If you see something, say something.

The onslaught against criminality should be total without any modicum of mercy. Kidnappers and bandits do create enclaves which act as the bases or safe havens for their sinister operations. These areas are usually off limit to their host communities.

Our security agencies should work with the locals on serious intelligence gathering to spot these enclaves because they are not hidden from the locals. Also, just like mobility of Labour, we also have mobility of crime. The security agencies should put their minds on this fact that should they intensify their onslaught against these evil minds, they will flee to hinterland.

They must be on ground to welcome them with beautiful death at any point of their migration. This is the way to go.

Our porous borders should be worked upon with a view to blocking the leakages. The cultural proximity of the northern Nigeria with some Sahel nations and the porous nature of our borders with those nations make it easy for a foreigner to easily naturalize in Nigeria and develop the capacity to do what is unthinkable. Technology should be utilised to the maximum.

Surveillance cameras and stations surveillance drones, helicopters, digital residency cards, strong and efficient immigration protocols should be enhanced.

Nigeria has a big population that should necessarily erk the attention of the government to technology utilisation. Most of the humongous recurrent expenditure should be trimmed down and be appropriated on this capital project of injecting modern technology into our security architecture.

Finally, may I use this calm statement to soothe our pains in this challenging time that Nigeria project is achievable. A safe and prosperous Nigeria is achievable. We just need patriotism , social and political will to do what is needful for us to place Nigeria where she should be among comity of Nations.

This is the ransom that we must collectively pay.

Junaid Yunus Olalekan, an Educationist, Politician and Public affairs analysis writes from Iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State

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