The recent 60 million naira crowdfunding on Twitter for kidnappers, aimed at securing the release of Alhaji Mansoor Al-Kadriyar’s six children, casts a shadow on President Bola Tinubu’s Foreign Direct Investment drive.
Despite his previous assurance at an international event that all business bottlenecks had been removed, this incident demands swift action from him as the true Chief Security Officer of Nigeria, especially if he is genuinely committed to attracting foreign investors.
No foreign investors want a climate where their investment is not safe and where workers cannot move freely without being seized by terror groups.
Highlighting the vulnerability of Nigerians to insurgents, bandits, and kidnappers, former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, “participated” in the fundraising. He mentioned that an undisclosed friend donated 50 million Naira, intended for the kidnappers.
This unfortunate situation, compounded by the tragic death of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar on Friday due to the failure to meet their demands promptly, underscores the urgent need for decisive leadership in addressing security concerns.
The late Nabeeha was a 400-level student of Biological Science. Her siblings, Najeebah, is a 500-level Quantity Surveying student, while Nadheerah is a 300-level Zoology student, all at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State
They were kidnapped alongside Miss Ariyo, her mother, and three siblings at Sagwari Estate Layout in Dutsen-Alhaji area, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Sunday, January 7, 2024. The remains of Miss Folashade Ariyo and Najeebah were dropped at a location where their family members recovered them.
This isn’t the first time Nigerians have been kidnapped and slaughtered by abductors; the use of social media has only intensified Al-Kadriyari and the Ariyo family’s agony. Many Nigerians have lost their lives or loved ones due to their inability to swiftly meet the demands of these bloodsucking kidnappers and terrorists.
For instance, a Twitter user, identified as Ubawuike (@eastsidejagaban), recounts the kidnapping of his uncle in Umudagu Mbieri, Imo state, Southeast Nigeria.
It has been over five months since the incident, and he mentioned that the whereabouts of his uncle remain unknown, despite having paid a ransom of 12 million naira for his release.
According to Ubawuike, the case was reported to the Imo State Police Command. Unfortunately, the security operatives have no leads. The victim’s wife, his young children, including a newborn, and family members are uncertain about whether their breadwinner is alive or has been killed.
In the same week, 45 passengers in three 15-seater commercial buses were forcibly taken into a nearby forest by heavily-armed gunmen in Orokam, along the Otukpo-Enugu Road in Ogbadigbo Local Government Area of Benue State.
One of the drivers, who narrowly escaped, reported that the incident occurred “between a police and army checkpoint in Orokam after the Trailer Park at the deteriorated section of the road,” as quoted by Vanguard.
The kidnappers demanded 135 million naira, a sum that may be subject to negotiation.
Moreover, Katsina, the home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari, experienced its bout of insecurity as a bandit gang attacked a joint military camp at Nahuta village in Batsari Local Government Area on Sunday, January 14, 2024.
When will the disheartening stories of killings, kidnappings, and insecurity stop?
Embarrassingly, all these bloodletting and avoidable incidents occurred less than four weeks after gunmen invaded 25 communities in three local government areas in Plateau State on Christmas Eve 2023 killing over 150 people and razing about 221 houses.
This is embarrassing for a country whose leaders have toured all countries to attract foreign investors.
Regrettably, the incumbent president, Bola Tinubu, was one of the unrepentant and harsh critics of President Goodluck Jonathan.
During Jonathan’s administration, as Boko Haram fighters were annexing parts of Nigeria’s territory for control, Tinubu tweeted:
‘On matters of security, the buck stops at the President’s table. Like in other countries, Jonathan is the Chief Security Officer. Stop Boko Haram.’
Now, the tables have turned, yet insecurity has reached a crescendo. IPOB terrorists are killing in the Southeast; ritualists operate freely in the Southwest; Boko Haram fighters and bandits tax and kill farmers in most parts of the Northwest and Northeast; and herdsmen freely kill villagers in the Middlebelt. The only haven right now is the Presidential Lodge.
Tinubu must declare insecurity a national emergency with actionable results. A synergy between telecommunication companies and security operatives is essential.
The lengthy and archaic bureaucratic process of obtaining a court order to access details of SIM card owners must be abolished in emergency cases like kidnaps. The kidnappers must be traced to their den through their phone calls.
What is the purpose of mandating Nigerians to link their SIM cards to their National Identity Number (NIN) if the collected data cannot be utilized to apprehend kidnappers who employ SIM cards to contact the family members of their victims for negotiations?
Tinubu must not leave Nigerians in the den of terrorists and kidnappers. The president must not surrender Nigeria to kidnappers and terrorists. Time is ticking away.