Security Forces and Fixing the Gordian Knot of Insecurity
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
EMERGENCY DIGEST- It is commendable now that security forces are waking up to reality in stemming the rising tide of ransom payments for kidnap victims.
PRNigeria had on April 12, reported how Nigeria military were able to intercept a humongous sum N60 million intended to be delivered to the bandit-terrorists as ransom for some captives in Kaduna state.
In addition, the security forces have equally arrested the accomplices including security personnel involved in the courier.
The troops in the intelligence-driven military operations also rescued kidnapped victims including some women and children.
The operations, simultaneously undertaken by ground troops of the Nigerian Army, as well as special forces of the Nigerian Air Forces, NAF, resulted in the elimination of some bandit terrorists.
An operative confirmed to PRNigeria, saying: “The sum of N60,000,000 in cash, petroleum products and sophisticated weapons, were recovered during the operations.
“Other items recovered by the troops from the suspects include vehicles, AK-47 rifles, magazines, various kinds of ammunition and mobile phones.
“Meanwhile, we will refer the case of the arrested couriers who mostly have identifications with security agencies to the Department of State Service (DSS) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for further investigation.”
In sting operations like this one, the influence of credible and actionable intelligence can never be downplayed.
Through intelligence gathering and information sharing, the Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA, and the Department of State Service, DSS, have been neutralizing a number of security threats capable of disturbing peace and public order in the country.
However, it is worrisome to learn that, in today’s Nigeria, myriads form of insecurities continued to hold the country by the jugulars, mostly occasioned by the rampant activities of non-state actors which inaugurably continued to threaten our quest for national development.
Over the past years, Nigeria has been facing security challenges ranging from activities of kidnappers, bandits, insurgents, ethnic militias, agitators, pipelines vandals, cultists, armed robbers, rituals, cyber criminals and host of others.
According to the latest version of National Security Strategy 2019, banditry and militias activities constituted about 40% of security challenges presently facing Nigeria. Meanwhile, the most virulent form of banditry is kidnapping.
The booming banditry and kidnapping industry has continued to blossom in Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country where several communities are sacked, valuable items been plundered and thousands of individuals killed.
Honestly, it is easy to understand that the financial benefits attached to kidnapping is the major factor responsible for persistent occurrences of these barbaric incidents without any sign of abating.
According to a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence, a security and political risks analysis firm, it was revealed that between June 2011 and the end of March 2020, at least $18.34 million was paid to kidnappers as ransom in Nigeria. It was noted that the larger proportion of that figure, just below $11 million, was paid out between January 2016 and March 2020.
The International Center for Investigative Research, ICIR, found that in 2021, at least N1 billion naira was reported to have been paid by residents to kidnappers in Northwest and North Central Nigeria. It was gathered through media reports in Adamawa, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Niger, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states.
Thus, the time is overdue for the menace of ransom payment to kidnappers to be checked. Because, it is the ransom they in turn use in acquiring sophisticated weapons, with which they carry out their attacks on soft targets.
Residents in different localities should always help security forces with actionable intelligence that will help in exposing various terror syndicates disturbing our peace.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest.