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Public outrage grows as kidnapping pandemic worsens

Outrage over the rising insecurity in the country grew on Thursday as stakeholders demanded tough actions by the Federal Government against kidnappers.

Those who advised the Federal Government on the kidnapping epidemic included the Supreme Council for Sharia, South-South governors, residents of affected communities, and the National Association of Nigeria Students.

Abductions, which were previously restricted to the North-West, have in recent times spread to other parts of the country including Lagos, Ogun and Delta states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

The crisis came to a head last week when bandits took their battles to the FCT when they kidnapped 23 people in the Bwari area of the federal capital.

As part of efforts to tackle the menace, the Federal Government on Wednesday warned against raising funds for ransoms.

Expressing concern about the abduction epidemic, the South-South governors on Thursday urged the Federal Government to do more in the management of security in the country.

At their meeting on Thursday in Benin, Edo State, which was presided over by the new chairman of the group, Governor Godwin Obaseki, the governors noted that the meeting which was the first in the new dispensation, became necessary to address and proffer solutions to the critical challenges facing the region.

In a communiqué, read by Obaseki, the governors said the meeting was held at a critical time in the history of Nigeria as the country faces enormous challenges.

The governors said, “It’s against this background that the South-South region must redefine its place and roles in the economic development of Nigeria and for the benefit of our people.’’

The governors also promised to “engage the Federal Government on the development of key infrastructure in the region particularly roads, rail development and the decentralization and rehabilitation of seaports in the region as well as management of security in the country at large.”

Also, the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria on Thursday urged President Bola Tinubu to deploy the full range of resources in the country’s arsenal against elements fuelling insecurity nationwide.

The Vice President of the council, Dr Bashir Umar, spoke to State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting with Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, said the delegation asked him to “expedite action to cushion the effect of the hard economic decisions that were taken and also to request that he brings out everything that is in the arsenal to face the problem of insecurity and to also achieve food security.”

On its part, the National Association of Nigerian Students called for the declaration of a state of emergency on the security situation in the country.

Omolewa

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