By Ibrahim Mustapha
SIR: Last week, as usual, dare-devil kidnappers had a successful outing along the Kaduna-Abuja road. These kidnappers stopped motorists, kidnapped the passengers and killed those who attempted to escape. According to the villagers living around the dangerous road, the kidnappers had four successful operations with many passengers losing their lives and countless victims taken into the kidnappers den.
The return of the kidnappers to the busiest road in that part of the country is unfortunate and sad. It has come at a time when people are calling the authorities to bring to an end the abduction of helpless passengers happening on daily basis. The response of government to the rampant kidnapping is not encouraging. Although, there have been some deployments of anti-robbery squads in some strategic position which allayed fears among the people, overall, their presence has failed to checkmate the activities of kidnappers.
The government should go beyond stationing police officers in every one or two kilometres of the road. Instead, there is the need for deployment of modern technology such as drone which will monitor the movement of these kidnappers and their hideous. The audacity with which these kidnappers carry out their attacks raises questions about the nation’s security. If this road that links Northwest States to the nation’s seat of power can be frequently attacked by daredevil kidnappers and with relatively ease, other roads in the country will become no go areas. Even with the return of rail transportation which proved effective and safe, the kidnappers often attacked train stations.
Can we attribute the recent increase rate of kidnapping activities to the recent EndSARS protests that demoralized our men in uniform and kept them off the roads? It appears that some police officers are yet to recover from the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country.
While the Kaduna-Abuja road is being deserted by travellers due to the activities of kidnappers, bad news of abduction continues to rent the air in Katsina and Zaria. The Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Community, Zaria was thrown into confusion and sadness when recently, kidnappers entered the staff quarters, fired shots and abducted a lecturer. A similar attack on ABU staff quarters by kidnappers ended with a lecturer and his wife being taken away.
What is really happening with our intelligence gathering? The kidnappers who operate along Kaduna -Abuja road are usually spotted in Gadan Malam Mamman and Rijana axis. They have been operating there for long time. In saner climes, these dark spots would have been thoroughly combed and those making lives difficult arrested.
It has become imperative for government to strengthen its intelligence gathering, adopt community policing and above all deploy modern security gadgets such as drones and helicopters for effective policing. Kidnapping is taking a dangerous dimension and government should move swiftly to contain it before it consumes the country.
- Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna State.