Government at all levels in Nigeria have been asked to desist from negotiating with kidnappers and criminals in the country.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, stated this in Lokoja the state capital and described negotiations with kidnappers and criminal elements as an aberration having committed unimaginable crimes against the country.
“Nigeria will need to learn from Kogi state in how it handled kidnapping and robbery, we do not negotiate with criminals and killers,” the governor stated.
Kidnapping in many parts of Nigeria appears to have become a business, especially for otherwise unemployed youth.
SB Morgen, a Nigerian consulting firm, using data gathered from a variety of open sources, including the Council’s Nigeria Security Tracker, had expressed concern that kidnapping will increase as Nigeria falls into recession driven by the coronavirus and the fall in oil prices, putting more people out of work.
Governor Bello, who observed that insecurity in Kogi State was at its peak before he became governor, said the state had a record of 25 cases of kidnappings every month.
He insisted that negotiating with kidnappers or criminals in any way gives credence to continuity in the act. According to the governor, dealing with criminals in proportion to crimes committed had worked in the state, hence, the reduction in cases of kidnappings in the state.
“I can’t negotiate with kidnappers. I can’t negotiate with terrorists, but I deal with them.
“I believe that negotiating with criminals under any guise would not stop the act and I want government at all levels to look at dealing ruthlessly with kidnappers and other criminals, if insecurity must be brought to the barest minimum,” Bello said.
By Abel Ejikeme