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Editors Conclave: The Shift from Armed Robbery to Kidnapping in Nigeria—Insights from the NSA

National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu says kidnapping has replaced armed robbery in Nigeria today because people no longer carry cash about.

Editors Conclave: The Shift from Armed Robbery to Kidnapping in Nigeria—Insights from the NSA
Editors Conclave: The Shift from Armed Robbery to Kidnapping in Nigeria—Insights from the NSA

National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu says kidnapping has replaced armed robbery in Nigeria today because people no longer carry cash about.

The NSA who was addressing participants Thursday at Day Two of ongoing All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC), 2023 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital said the trajectory of the nation’s insecurity was allowing Boko Haram, Banditry, Niger Delta and South East unrest to fester too long.

He said, “These are four massive security problems and each is capable of bringing us to our knees.

“If you have not noticed, kidnapping has replaced armed robbery. That is what is going on across the country. Now most armed robbers have turned into kidnappers. Don’t allow insecurity to remain part of you for a long time. It will destroy you.

“If you have noticed, kidnapping had replaced armed robbery in the country. That is what is happening now. And that is because people no longer carry cash. So armed men would rather kidnap you, so you can now bring the money out.”

He pointed out that when they came into office it was observed that almost 600 kidnap victims were not released for about two to three years, claiming that with the coming in of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, many are being released and much work being done to reduce the insecurity.

“Going forward we intend to run an open and transparent government. We also appeal to you (Media) for support. We are all this together”, he added.

Meanwhile, the scourge of insecurity continued yesterday as bandits abducted the District Head of Kujama and five others in Chikun Local Government Area, and injured two policemen at Birnin Gwari community in Kaduna State.

Also, a pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, Pastor David Musa, was killed by his abductors after the criminals collected N1,000,000 ransom from his family. Indeed, Enugu State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has threatened to embark on a strike over the kidnap of 10 doctors in the state in the last two months.

Senate summons NSA, service chiefs

To address Nigeria’s security problems, the Senate yesterday summoned the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff , other service chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, as well as heads of all intelligence agencies to a crucial meeting.

The Senate took the decision after adopting and debating a motion, titled “Urgent need for the Improvement of the coordination and synergy among Nigerian Security Forces and Agencies to help strengthen and win the fight against Insecurity in the nation,” sponsored by Senator Abdulaziz Musa Yar ’Adua (APC, Katsina Central), at plenary.

While leading the debate on the motion, Yar’Adua noted that the contemporary security landscape in Nigeria posed unprecedented challenges that outstripped the protective capabilities of any security agency alone.

He urged all relevant security agencies, ministries departments and agencies, MDAs, to improve on their synergy to combat insurgency and other emerging security threats.

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“Nigeria has various security agencies, aside from the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force. These include the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and other authorised Civilian Task Forces.

“Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) and Operation HAKORIN DAMISA IV from 9 to 16 October 2023 neutralised bandit/armed robbers and arrested 59 suspects in connection with kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, railway vandalism, gun-running, illegal mining as well as recovered arms/ammunitions and illicit drugs.

“According to reports, on October 18, 2023, no fewer than 50 people, including a district head, women, and children, were abducted while three others were reportedly killed in an attack by bandits in Bagega, a mining village in Zamfara State.

“Just recently, on October 20, 2023, bandits in their numbers raided Danmusa town, the headquarters of Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing seven people, and injuring 10 and kidnapped a yet to be ascertained number of people.

“Furthermore, the bandits also attacked the people of Wurma, Tamawa and Dadawa villages in Kurfi LGA killing people and rustling cattle.”

He equally noted that the main task before security agencies should be to make Nigeria safe for citizens and residents.

Yar’Adua explained that this could only be accomplished if all security and allied agencies and parastatals crucial to national security collaborated under a single command structure to ensure the nation was secure from internal and external threats.

This kind of coordinated effort, he said, also strengthened the interdependence and interrelatedness of security agencies. After contributions from senators across party lines, the Senate resolved to invite the security chiefs for a closed session to discuss the challenges and find a way forward.

Earlier, senators had urged the various security agencies in Nigeria, both military and paramilitary, to improve and enhance their inter-operational synergy and coordination for effective and holistic tackling of the various types of insecurity facing the nation.

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