Following the reported release of the German archaeologists kidnapped in Kaduna state, a top-level security consultant and public affairs analyst, Dehinde Ariyo, has said that kidnapping thrives unabated in Nigeria because of the outdated security architecture in the country, the low-level of ammunition used by security operatives, and government’s laxity in putting proactive measures in place to prevent the menace.
He said this in Lagos while commenting on the security situation across the nation.
Ariyo blamed the government for not nipping the menace of abduction in a bud when it first began at an unsophisticated level in the Niger-Delta region, saying that it turned a blind eye to the social vice until it advanced to the level of kidnapping for ransom and the higher level of random kidnapping experienced today.
He said that since it has been noted that most kidnappers escape with their victims through the waterways, there was need for government to establish naval police along the inland waterways in the country to facilitate easier arrest of kidnappers.
The security expert lamented the report of some kidnappers possessing fire power that was more superior to that of the security operatives; stressing that so long as that trend continues, kidnappers will continue to enjoy a field day in the country.
He said: “To fight kidnapping to a stand-still, we need to first change the archaic security architecture in the country. Then, raise the level of the ammunition used by our security operatives. And, let the government be more proactive in combating kidnapping.
“There are places now that are recognized as dark spots for kidnapping. The government is not doing well in putting in place funds and adopting proactive measures against kidnapping.
“Kidnapping began in the Niger-Delta, when people were abducted, mainly foreigners in protest for the companies not giving them enough of whatever they wanted from there. From abduction, they moved on to kidnapping for ransom, and today it is now random kidnapping.
“The Kaduna case was very painful. Those guys have been there for over ten years. I would have expected whoever brought them to Kaduna state to have been forward thinking enough to know that being whites, confers on them Kidnap value. For that purpose alone, security around them should have been stepped-up. That is a laxity on the government’s side.
“On the kidnappings that take place along the coastal states in Nigeria, there should have been Naval police around the waterways, because the kidnappers mainly use the waterways to escape with their victims.
“Remember that lately, a container of over 600 hedge arms was intercepted. You and I cannot determine how many more of such ammunition are in the hands of the wrong person on the street, and they put them to use. Unfortunately, they have superior fire power against our police men. This has been the trend overtime.
“One would have expected that our security agencies would have stepped-up their game knowing that they are faced with more deadly opposition – people who don’t care; who are in it for a purpose; who are ready to die, if need be, and that’s why when you confront them, they begin to kill.
“So, to that extent, the security agencies should change the game plan in such a way that when the kidnappers know they would be confronting a police with more superior power, they would think twice. What do you have? A situation where they are beating our policemen, killing our policemen even our soldiers and taking away their guns; they have on ground now should be withdrawn
“Over time, we have had increased funding for our policemen and other agencies. If we follow the trend of what we have been reading in the media lately, such funds have been stolen or misappropriated but of course diverted and not used for the purpose for which they were meant. For as long as we are handling these cases; we will continue giving the criminals a field day.”