EDITORIAL: Calming the storm of kidnapping in Nigeria

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On February 17, 2021, 27 students from Kagara Government School and 15 others were kidnapped at the school premises. The kidnappers were said to be dressed in army uniforms and said to be bandits that have been terrorizing larger parts of Niger state.

While the governments at both the Federal and the state levels were grappling with how to ensure the safe release of the Kagara school children, Jangebe School girls in Zamfara state in the northwest of the country were kidnapped. While the whereabouts of the Jangabe school girls have not been ascertained, there are all indications that the kidnap was carried out by bandits terrorizing that zone.

The rate of kidnapping in the country is now at a state that parents in the northern parts of the country are beginning to weary on sending their children to school due to the fear of being kidnapped. Major kidnap involving school children carried out in recent times happened in the Northern part of the country. We recalled that in December 11, 2020, students of the Government Boys Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina state were kidnapped. This unfortunate incident led to the closure of all public schools in the state. However seven days later, the students regain freedom.

In February 18, 2018, nearly 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in Dapchi town of Yobe state, this was after the army reportedly ignored repeated warnings by the Amnesty International of an imminent attack on Dapchi town but they were eventually released by their captures after President Buhari announced plan to negotiate for the release of the girls instead of using military force.

Nigerians will never forget the unfortunate kidnap of the Chibok girls and the manner in which the government of the then President Goodluck Jonathan handled the kidnap at a time the country was preparing for general elections. Till today some of the girls are still in the den of the kidnappers while over 100 of them have been freed under various circumstances.

It is rather unfortunate that the country would descend to this debasing state where the safety of Nigerians is not guaranteed. Kidnapping is already a lucrative vocation for the criminally minded persons in the country. More alarming is the government adoption of negotiation with abductors. Some northern states have practically resolved to fate and they are beginning to see kidnapping and banditry as necessary evil they most live with.

IMPACT NEWS is unequivocally against any form of negotiation with criminals in whatever form. We maintain that the government at whatever level must not stoop low to negotiate with criminals in whatever guise.

We hold that any government that negotiates with criminals has failed in its responsibility to safeguard the citizens of the state. We therefore charge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the occasion and step out of the fool’s paradise to see the reality that all is not well as the nation is on its kneels begging for safety in the hands of criminals.

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