January 21, (THEWILL) – Hell seems to have been let loose with the recent upsurge in criminality and banditry across the country as daredevil bandits and kidnappers appear to be stepping up their wicked activities across the country.
As if in a renewed rage against innocent and vulnerable Nigerians, these criminals now attack soft targets and innocent Nigerians with ease, mostly without much resistance from their victims, as they demand crazy and unimaginable ransom for their release.
Nowadays no part of the country is safe or immune from the renewed onslaught by these bandits and criminals as fundraisers are now being organised by helpless Nigerians, not for the training of their children and loved ones, but to meet the ridiculous demands of the kidnappers.
More unfortunate is the fact that raw cash, which is not even available to hard working Nigerians in the banks across the country, is now being mopped up in millions to meet the deadlines given by these bandits and criminals as ransom.
Recent attacks on soft targets in Abuja and neighbouring states have also sent shock waves to residents of the Federal Capital Territory. Indeed, all is no longer well as they can no longer sleep with their eyes closed.
The recent upsurge in criminality has triggered the fear that Abuja, being the seat of power, has been infiltrated and encircled by these bandits in preparation for a massive attack which could be deadly. This fear made the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to swing into action, in collaboration with the police authorities, to map out a special security plan for FCT residents. President Bola Tinubu also summoned security chiefs to work out a plan to nip this ugly and embarrassing development in the bud.
A 2023 security and intelligence report from Beacon Consulting obtained by THEWILL in fact indicated a grim and stark reality for the country.
“Our report shows a surge in abduction cases resulting in 11.85 percent increase compared with the November (2023) report. A total of 519 persons were abducted across 229 local government areas in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which came first in the states with the highest number of abductees with 67 civilians and one government official,” the report stated.
Borno and Sokoto States, the report also stated, came first and second, respectively, with 122 and 75 abductees in December 2023. In their overall analysis, Beacon Consulting showed that for January 1 – December 31 2023, Nigeria recorded 6,525 security incidents including security operatives’ actions as opposed to 5375 in 2002 representing a 21.40 percent increase.
However, one question that is being asked by observers of the development is: How did we get here? It is unfortunate that despite the assurances from official quarters, things are not getting better as Nigeians still live in fear and panic, not knowing who the next victim will be.
The harrowing experience of some families in the hands of kidnappers in the past few weeks is enough evidence that all is not really well, especially with situations getting worse and really unbearable for the average Nigerian.
We therefore call on the Federal Government and the states to move into action to protect Nigerians instead of the usual rhetorics from government officials. Non-state actors must not be allowed to hold Nigerians to ransom for too long as a government that cannot guarantee the safety of lives of the people has no business being in power.