3,000 in kidnappers’ den as Senate, Labour seek action

Senators yesterday reviewed the security situation, submitting that people in many parts of the country, especially the North, were at the mercy

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Senators yesterday reviewed the security situation, submitting that people in many parts of the country, especially the North, were at the mercy of hoodlums.

They said banditry and kidnapping were now the order of the day, with the rich and the poor fallen prey.

The senators were contributing to a motion on “Senseless killing of a Briton and the abduction of three others in a holiday resort in Kaduna State by armed bandits”, sponsored by Senator Shehu Sani and 108 others.

Painting a grim picture of things in Zamfara State, which is fast becoming the epicentre of banditry, Senator Kabiru Marafa said over 3000 persons were in bandits’ den.

Stunned by his revelation, the Senate summoned the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to brief it next week on measures being taken to address the problems.

The invitation followed the adoption of the prayer of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who noted that kidnapping of expatriates had pushed up the cost of construction in the country.

Foreign firms, he said, were building funds for ransom payment into their contract bids.

To lend credence to his claim, two Chinese nationals were yesterday kidnapped at a construction site in Ebonyi State.

Also yesterday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the security agencies over the security challenges.

Marafa, who noted that businesses and other sources of livelihood, including farming had collapsed in most northern states, warned that Zamfara might collapse in the next few years, if measures were not taken to battle what he called the suffocating banditry there.

The government, he said, should, as a matter of urgency, engage the youths who are involved in banditry and other acts of criminality.

He said: “There might be no Zamfara State in the next two years if something is not done about the insecurity in the state. I saw a video from my state where children of about 11 years are wielding AK47. This is the reality on ground in my state.

“In Zamfara State, there are over 3,000 kidnapped victims in the dens of bandits. Banditry is not reducing. It has become a business. There is technically no business in the north, except kidnapping.

“People have abandoned their farms in the North. There are no more peasant farmers in the north. They are being kidnapped by these bandits.

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