Kidnapping has been the major security catastrophe threatening the lives of Nigerians in far and near places, the activities of bandits started as Fulani groups seeking justice for their loved ones killed or retrieval of their rustled domestic animals but were not attended to and violence.
In northern Nigeria for example, there are specific places in some states that are referred to as ‘death zones’ due to the frequent activities of bandits, they roam around unchallenged by security forces, taking innocent people to their dens and releasing them only when ransoms are paid.
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People in those areas no longer sleep with their both eyes closed, they are being taken on roads during travels, in their houses at night, at social gatherings such as weddings, naming ceremonies, etc. Most times, the majority of kidnappers sprout in the same communities or neighborhood they attack, their victims are mostly students, villagers, low-level politicians, and moderate businessmen while those in government and owners of industries are enjoying maximum security both at home and abroad. The prohibition of ransom payment to kidnappers would not end the barbaric act but escalate the situation.
It is obvious that any time ordinary citizens are affected by criminal acts or chaos, the government gives less attention but whenever their families or political allies fall victims, they do everything possible to bring them out and punish the perpetrators. I could vividly recall that in 2009, there was a sharp bend with scattered potholes along Bauchi – Gombe Road where an uncountable number of travellers lost their lives, government did nothing about it until a daughter of the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation was involved in an accident and died instantly, the contract to repair the damaged road was approved a week after her death.
If a small fire is not extinguished early, it may blaze up and burn us all, therefore security is everybody’s business, let us be reporting suspicious persons or activities in our communities to the nearest security for urgent actions. May God Protect and Bless Nigeria. Amen.
Mukhtar Garba Kobi writes from Bauchi