Kidnappings, Banditry, Still Big-time Business

Kidnappings, Banditry, Still Big-time Business
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It is disheartening that banditry and kidnapping has turned to a business empire running into billions of naira in the country, surpassing earnings in legitimate earnings in so many sectors. With this gruesome and murderous trade, devious individuals have become ever daring and obdurate.

From yet unofficial records, an estimated N3.5 billion has been received as ransom since the menace became a booming trade among perpetrators. While it appears there has no quick fix of the situation, authorities appear overwhelmed and unable to bring the situation to a check.

While Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger States have become epicentres of these activities, there are reports of pockets of these insanities going on in other parts of the country but not pronounced as it were. This has prompted calls from stakeholders for the security agencies and state governors to adopt proactive measures that would nib in the bud these miscreants who began to hold down the nation’s future which resides in the youths and kids in various institutions of learning who have now become soft targets.

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The operations of the bandits no doubt tallies with the modus operandi of and philosophy of Boko Haram which then kidnapped school children in their droves to further drive home their point of demonizing western education as evil. However, the recent bands of kidnappers are in the trade for pecuniary gains and this motive cannot be repudiated or otherwise.

There are various versions to the handling of the issue of ransom which appears to be the motivating factor for these criminal elements in our midst. While the likes of Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai vowed not to ever pay monies in the name of ransom even if the victims were his kids, others differ stressing that there was a better way to handle the situation rather than an outright condemnation of the current status where negotiation stake place to pay monies to release loved ones because it was a way of encouraging an illegal business. 

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The governor, however, took his postulation a little too far when he made some contrast between elusive bandits and kidnappers who are faceless against agitators like Nnamdi Kanu who are known protagonists of secession with an irritating disposition against the state.

AljazirahNigeria is averse to these trifling positions, as any known crime if established is subject to the tracked by legal parametres allowed in the land no matter how inscrutable the perpetrators may be. Once a crime of heinous magnitude has been committed it behooves on the authorities to do the needful to track offenders. It is unappealing for a governor in el-Rufai’s status to make common monumental crimes which are akin to those against humanity as seen in recent years in parts of the North where he actually situates.

We hold with all humility that there ring leaders in various operations and tracking perpetrators is the only way the leaders could be exposed during profiling and investigations that may ensue. From our unverified information some of these kidnap parties have their kingpins who take a larger chunk of the proceeds from the raids but only rewarding the errand boys who are on the field work with just a pittance of the income.

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While we urge the victims of these heinous criminalities to cooperate with security agencies, they should exercise restraint in parting with monies in the name of ransom but be circumspect as there are many levels of cartels in the business who cannot be quickly trusted. That also would help in ameliorating the situation.

On a more stricter note, we urge the authorities to allow for stiffer penalties across states and communities where such uniformity would spell more than a slap on the wrist for these criminals when apprehended.


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