Fear of kidnaping grips Abuja - The Nation Newspaper

Fear of kidnaping grips Abuja

5/21/2019

Fear of kidnaping grips Abuja

Majority of residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) now live in fear of being kidnapped. This is due to the increasing rate of abductions in Abuja

Apart from the militancy in the Niger Delta, the deadly Islamic insurgency in the North orchestrated by Boko Haram, the activities of hostage-taking Fulani herdsmen, as well as the swelling pool of criminals who are making a fortune from it have all contributed to exacerbation of the national epidemic, which kidnapping has become.

“I think impunity is the biggest cause, because people commit the crime and don’t get punished. If someone commits a crime and he/she gets away with it, then there is every chance that the person will continue. But if the person commits a crime, gets caught and is punished, it will definitely serve as a deterrent to others. Most cases are lost in court because of sloppy investigation and policing in Nigeria. We no longer teach religious education in schools. So, people are not morally conscious; but they now worship the god of money and justify it.”

lamented that part of the reason that kidnapping remains a thriving business in the country is because many Nigerians have come to believe that being rich is the ultimate life goal.

Udu went further, saying, “It is a pity that Nigerian youths have been brainwashed into believing they need to get money to have their way. So, this has spurred them to get money by hook or by crook. This is also responsible for the high rate of kidnapping and ritual killings in the country. I heard recently of a wife who took to kidnapping to get money from the husband. Many of us are not content with what we have. We want to have a good life and the definition of good life is to go into this heinous crime to make money. Greed is a psychological problem. Some in the older generations have not laid the foundation of hard work for our youths, rather, they have demonstrated that to have money is power to live a flamboyant life.”

She said: “The enduring spirit of due process of attaining wealth is no longer there as only a few people ask questions when they observe something does not add up. People celebrate those who acquire ill-gotten wealth and give them chieftaincy titles. In some cases, they are given major responsibilities in the society. The societal implication of this is that it spreads like wild fire. I don’t think it is too bad to ask someone who had nothing, but all of a sudden is living the big life, what he or she does for a living. It is not a good news that kidnapping is on the increase in Abuja. kidnapping is on the rise because of high rate of poverty, hopelessness, joblessness and majorly, the lack of the fear of God.

He said conscious efforts must be made to stamp out the menace of kidnapping before the entire country is overrun by kidnappers.

The above instances have become commonplace along the notorious Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, especially around Jere, Katari and Rijana towns. In the last three years, the road has becoming one of the most dangerous roads in the country as clergymen, military officers and an ex minister, a serving senator as well as a diplomat, including not-so-prominent persons, have at various times been kidnapped along that road. The Sierra Leone Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, retired Major General Alfred Nelson Williams, was abducted along the notorious road on his way to attend an event at Command and Staff College, Jaji.

Not too long after that was the kidnap that happened within Abuja city center of Friday Okeregbe, a Channels TV reporter who covers the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Okeregbe was kidnapped along Games Village in Abuja while on his way from his mechanic’s workshop on March 22, 2019.

The experience, according to Friday was something he do not want to share. Findings also revealed that if took the intervention of different quarters to secure his release.

He said, “The incident of kidnapping along Abuja-Kaduna Road…there was an existing regional security arrangement which was called the G-7. So with the development all the states that are around the FCT are going to revive the regional security arrangements. This will also help. If for instance the FCT administration had a way of checking but if our neighbours routes are porous then it will still come back to us. So we have to come together in form of technical tactics. All the commissioners of police and security agencies within the seven states [need] to come and draw an agenda as regards securing the region. This G-7 states consist of Niger, FCT, Plature, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Kaduna. With that, the efforts of all the state governments will help deal with kidnapping issue. These are the arrangement we are putting in place.”

“The minister is very serious about this development and wants implementation of the plans as soon as possible. Members of the public should also compliment the efforts of our security operatives especially the police as regards information sharing. We want to have a section where information will be given in confidence and it will be transmitted to the police. Even with the United Nations standard of ratio of police to members of the public we are far behind. So even if police is not complaining it is glaring. During my last visit to Zuba police station, they had only one functional vehicle. We understand the gaps and we are trying to assist. The committee report like I said earlier is advocating community policing as solution to the issue of crimes especially kidnapping.

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