Kidnappings: Senate Summons IGP, Seeks Special Security for Foreign Workers

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By: Joy Odor/Abuja

Senate, yesterday, summoned the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, MR. Muhammad Adamu to appear before it next week over the increasing cases of kidnappings and armed banditry in the country, especially in the North.

This was sequel to a motion by Senator Shehu Sani, PRP-Kaduna Central and co-sponsored by 108 other senators following the killing of a 29-year-old Briton, Faye Mooney, an official of Mercy Corps Nigeria, and Matthew Oguche, her Nigerian partner, and the abduction of three others last Friday at the Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State.

This is even as the upper legislative chamber urged the security authorities to intensify the search for the perpetrators and bring them to book while also setting up inter-agency task force to tackle cases of banditry and kidnapping in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger States, respectively.

Similarly, it advised the security agencies to give special security cover to foreign workers and tourists as well as immediately deploying the use of drones and interceptors in tracking kidnappers asking for ransom.

The Senate also resolved that community leaders, traditional rulers and all stakeholders should co-operate with security agencies, urging telecommunication companies to provide security agencies with information in areas where there are kidnappings.

Presenting the motion, Senator Sani noted with dismay “the wave and spade of armed banditry and kidnappings in most parts of the country, from the North, South, East and Western part of the country without a formidable and technological approach to fighting the heinous crime”.

The lawmaker particularly lamented the recent attacks on individuals, houses and villages, which he said “have become one too many while there is no single person that has been brought to book as a result of the wanton killings despite the so much emphasized efforts at combating the crime which is not yielding fruitful results”.

He explained that the late Mooney was a humanitarian worker with an NGO, Mercy Corp, who had worked in war torn countries like Iraq and Kosovo helping the needy, the vulnerable and internally displaced persons.

Senator Sani recalled that earlier in the year, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered senior security chiefs to curb kidnapping in the region when four western tourists, two Americans and two Canadians were abducted in Kaduna in an ambush in January that left two of their police escorts dead.

He, however, warned that “the recurrence of this banditry where foreigners and tourists are involved may put Nigeria’s diplomatic relationship on the line thereby raising red flag to other tourists who may wish to visit Nigeria”.

Senator Sani added that “as I present this motion, negotiation is ongoing to pay ransom for the abductees of the Kujuru incident. The abductors had earlier demanded for N60, 000, 000 as ransom”.

Contributing, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, noted that the creation of state police has become imperative to deal with the rampant cases of kidnappings and banditry in the country, saying the federal government should take the decentralization of the police very seriously.

He lamented that many farmers could no longer go to their farms as well of foreign tourists abandoning the nation’s tourism sector for fear of being kidnapped and if possible killed in captivity.

Others like Senators Kabiru Marafa, APC-Zamfara Central, Emmanuel Bwacha, PDP-Taraba South, Barau Jibrin, APC-Kano North, and Andrew Uchendu, APC-Rivers East, lamented the rising wave of kidnappings and armed banditry in the country, which if not frontally tackled by relevant authorities, may lead to problem of famine in the North and spread to other parts of the country.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said the summoning of the Acting IGP was very necessary in view of the rising wave of insecurity in the land.

“Inviting the Acting IGP in plenary next week for way out on the worsening security situation in the land is very necessary since on our part here , Bills on Police Reforms and Trust Fund have been passed and waiting for concurrence in the House of Representatives”, he said.

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