Senate yesterday summoned Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, to brief its relevant committees on activities of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) targeted at the resolving the security challenges posed by kidnappers.
This is even as the Senate has been urged to review the extant laws on kidnapping with a view to imposing stiffer penalties on the crime. These were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Andy Uba and entitled: the unfortunate recurrence of kidnapping and hostagetaking in Nigeria – a national wake up call.
Leading debate on the motion, Uba, who noted with displeasure the seeming prevalence of the crime of kidnapping in Nigeria, pointed out that the incidents of kidnapping have assumed dangerous dimensions. Uba, who described the spread of kidnapping to all states of the federation like a cancer, however, added that it is the primary purpose of the Federal Government to provide the security and welfare of Nigerians, as stated by Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The general rate of insecurity in the country is worrisome, thereby taking away some merits from the successes that we have so far recorded in Nigeria’s counterterrorism war against insurgents in its North-Eastern region. The situation is now such that while the North battles with insurgency, the South suffers from incessant episodes of armed robbery, kidnapping and assassinations.
“These vices are beginning to assume the toga of legitimate business for unemployed youths, politically aggrieved persons and other equally greedy individuals. The payment of ransom to these criminally-minded persons has emboldened the practice of hostage- taking, as it is now fancied by many as lucrative business. “There is need for the Nigeria Police to rise to the occasion and see kidnapping as akin to terrorism.
We, however, reckon with the expediency of equipping the various security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police with effective tools of security. “Calculated policies targeted at ensuring job creation, employment, entrepreneurial development and empowerment for the youth population in Nigeria seem elusive.
As leaders at such a time in Nigeria’s history, we must all strive towards the attainment of a just society, with equal opportunities for all,” Uba said. In his contribution, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ibn Na’Allah, observed that the consequences of kidnapping are too enormous. “The matter is to let us know that the issue is a collective one,” he added.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja