President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has been urged to urgently convene a security summit that will include all the security agencies, all GSM Service Providers and relevant standing committees of the National Assembly to declare a state of emergency on Kidnappings in Nigeria.
In a motion sponsored by Hon. Babatunde Gabriel Kolawole representing Akoko South East/South West Federal Constituency of Ondo State on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday; and seconded by Hon. Diri Douye of Yenagoa/Okpokuma federal constituency of Bayelsa State; the House urged the Federal Government to cooperate with relevant agencies to fashion out an effective response to the kidnapping phenomenon in the country.
The House noted that in the last 10 years, the incidence of kidnapping for ransom in the country had escalated to a very disturbing level and had reached a point where no one was safe anymore.
In his contribution, the member representing Buruku federal constituency of Benue State, Hon. Orker Jev Orker narrated how his mother was kidnapped few years ago and he contacted the Divisional Police Officer and Area Commander in charge of the zone but they could not help to rescue his mother.
“Also a week after my mother was released, I got a call from someone who claimed that he was the one who kidnapped my mother. I asked him what does he want and he said he wanted us to be friends. I forwarded his phone number to the security agents but nothing was done about it,” Hon. Orker added.
While contributing to the debate, the member representing Kachina/Kagarko federal constituency of Kaduna State, Hon. Jagabam Adams Jagabam narrated a funny story where a man was kidnapped recently in Kaduna State and was released on personal recognition.
According to him, “the kidnappers held him for days and since nobody was ready to pay the ransom of N1.5m, they decided to free him on self recognition but warned him seriously to rally round and bring something for them.
“The man later sold some of his properties and took the ransom to the kidnappers after some days.”
The House also took turn to enumerate the victims of kidnapping in Nigeria in recent times, prominent among them was the kidnapping of member of the House of Representatives from Katsina State, Hon. Sani Bello Mashi and his aide who were abducted at Goburawa village in Kaduna State on their way from the farm in August this year.
Others include the foster father of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, 72-year old Inengite Nitabai who was kidnapped in Otuoke February 16th 2016; Margaret Emefile, wife of the CBN Governor who was kidnapped on 29th of September 2016 and the 3 female students from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, Ikorodu who were kidnapped February this year.
The House was specifically concerned that the trend is affecting tourism and investment potentials of “Nigeria which is now seen as the kidnap capital of the world, having risen from 475 reported cases in 2011, 500 in 2012 to presently over 1,500 cases annually.”