Kidnapping & Terrorism: Threat to Freedom, Security and National Development
This Morning Crossfire show is dedicated to a session of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Conference held at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos
Wemimo introduces the show with the following short remark: Terrorism according to research has a long stretch of history in Nigeria especially since the 1960s. In 1998, terrorism became one of the criminal incidents that threaten national and international security in the continent. Since the 1980s, kidnapping perpetrated for different reasons remain the future of criminal victimization in Nigeria.
As of late 2019, the Acting Inspector General of police, Muhammed Adamu, said 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of the year. He also said that the crime statistics showed that between January and April, at least 685 were kidnapped across the country. According to him, most of them were murdered and these deaths linked to banditry and communal violence.
There are measures that have been taken to fight insurgency and kidnapping, such as in registration of mobile phone numbers, putting a face to the number used, adoption of anti-kidnapping legislation in some states to provide very harsh punishment. In fact, Ogun State governor once hinted that it may put up death penalty for kidnappers.
Barrister Ubani, remarks on the overall theme of the NBA which he says is ‘Facing the Future’. He reckons that theme isn’t only for the lawyers but for everyone. Government also has to put its hand on deck because according to Ubani, “Nigeria cannot make progress if those negative things are not corrected and even for the legal practitioners to thrive, some of those debilitating factors, especially the issue of insecurity has to be dealt with.
“You cannot have investors come into your country if it is not safe. Insecurity is a problem and that is one aspect in which NBA brought in some experts who spoke about it. The insecurity situation in the country is very alarming but we must tackle it and we must ensure that the government tackle insecurity and make the country to be safe.
“Some of the factors responsible for insecurity in this country are lack of economic prosperity, the issue of lack of education, and also bad leadership. Crime breeds in an economy that doesn’t work. The case of the Almajeri’s prove this. At any time when they are born, they are just thrown into the streets without training or education of any sort. At any time, this people could be recruited and used in times of insurgency. These are issues we were supposed to tackle but we didn’t, Ubani says.”
On his part, Rotimi says that the problem in the northern part of Nigeria is not because of religion but it is due to the feudal nature that existed there. So right there in the north, Rotimi says, public office holders still act like they are in a feudal situation, like lords, even till now.
“This is a global problem. Anywhere there is a record of feudal situation which was not transformed, this is what happens. Government officials just pack the money straight away. The less feudalism there is somewhere, the more accountability there is, and there is less corruption.
“The authority of any government flows from its ability to fulfill its promises. Authority of government doesn’t come from police, army, navy, and other security outfits. The extent to which any government fails to fulfill the social contract, determines the extent of the insecurity, conflict, extremism, or banditry that will occur in the country.
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Barr Monday Ubani - Ex-Vice President NBA
Rotimi Sankore - Journalist, Policy and Development Expert
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry), alongside Rotimi Sankore (@RotimiSankore)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka