Leading a debate on a motion entitled ‘The need for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping in the country’ Wednesday, APC Hon. Babatunde Kolawole said kidnapping has got to a level that makes nobody safe again in Nigeria.
The House then unanimously called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping in the country.
It further said the police, the armed forces and telecommunication service providers should also convene a national security summit to find urgent solutions to the rising kidnapping incidents.
According to Kolawole, available statistics indicated that in 2013, Nigeria had the most kidnap attempts in the world, accounting for 26 per cent of all such recorded incidents, followed by Mexico with 10 per cent and Pakistan with seven per cent.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s foster father, 72-year-old Inengite Nitabai, who was kidnapped from his home in Otuoke in Bayelsa on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, was released in March after 35 days,” he said.
“A Kaduna State House of Assembly member, Ibrahim Ismail, was kidnapped on Tuesday, August 23 and released the next day. Margaret Emefiele, the wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, was kidnapped on Thursday, September 29, 2016 and released on Saturday, October 1, 2016.”
Other high-profile victims he mentioned included former Minister of Environment, Laurencia Mallam and her husband, Pius Mallam, were kidnapped along Bwari/Jere Road on Monday, October 3, 2016, a House of Representatives member from Katsina State, Mr. Sani Bello-Mashi, was also kidnapped alongside his aide at Goburawa village, Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State on his way to his farm in August this year.
“Before that,” he noted “Mike Ozekhome, a human rights lawyer, in August, 2013; Archbishop Ignatius Kattey and his wife, September 6, 2013, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Mrs. Kamene Okonjo, mother of former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped in 2013; Chief Olu Falae, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party from Ondo State, was kidnapped in 2015 and thousands of other unreported cases because of people’s distrust in our security agencies.”
Looking at the geographical distribution of the crime, the south-south, according to risk analysts, has been the hotbed of kidnapping over the years while the northeast battling Boko Haram’s insurgency also ranks high.
However, the southwest, recording one of the lowest incidents, has suddenly taken an uptick—because military operations in the south-south have displaced the kidnappers, diffusing the crime, too, to the southwest.