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Negotiating with bandits fueling crime – Nigerians urges gov’t to invest in prevention

Negotiating with bandits is fueling crime – Nigerians urges gov’t to invest in the preventive measures

Security challenges ranging from Boko Haram Insurgency, Kidnapping, Banditry and many others have become a major source of tension and panic trending in Nigeria today.

The question has always been on the measures been put in place to curb the menace, to proffer solutions and ensure that it is turned into a thing of the past.

In search for peace and solutions to the troubles at hand “Negotiation” was identified as an effective means of ending the issue of Kidnapping and Banditry. However, it is also seen as creating more waves for the perpetrators of the various degree of evil crime.

Let’s reflect on the past and present time where negotiation has been used as a tool for proffering solution to kidnapping and the outcome.

In April 2014, members of the Jihadist group Boko Haram ambushed an all-girls boarding school in Chibok in the middle of the night and kidnapped 276 students. Some of the girls managed to escape on their own, while others were rescued or freed following negotiations. But the fate of many has remained unknown.

On February 19, 2018, 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorist group from the Government Girls Science and Technical College Dapchi, 5 schoolgirls died on the same day of their kidnapping; others were released in March 2018 except the Christian girls Leah Sharibu.

 Report had it that the Government may have given something in return for the girl’s release while the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said no ransom was paid.

On December 11, 2020, over 300 pupils were kidnapped by gunmen said to be Bandits from a boy’s Secondary boarding school on the outskirts of Kankara, Katsina States in Northern Nigeria. On 17 December 2020, they were all freed after negotiations were made.

While recently on the 17 of February 2021 dozens of students, three teachers, and their relatives 42 in total were kidnapped by heavily gunmen from Government Science College in Kagara Town, Niger State.

Currently, negotiations are being made for the release of the victims. Looking at all these can we say negotiations have done us more good or harm?

Yusuf Ahmed, a resident of Keffi Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa State stated that as it is now negotiation is the best option left for the safe release of the boys.

Mohammed Aliyu also a resident of Keffi said though negotiation is not an ideal thing to do but at this point, he believes it will be the right way to go.

While Samson Oche said the Federal Government and the Armed Forces should proffer a lasting solution to kidnapping and Banditry noting that negotiation will only enable the Bandits to buy more arms, kidnap more people and create avenues for more negotiation.

Adamu Abu said proactive action like gathering intelligence, maximum border security is very important and should be put in place by the security personnel to avoid such occurrences from taking place in the first place. He also noted that engaging in negotiations as a means of safe release is not a bad thing to do but should be done at the right time under the right condition.

He further noted that whatsoever negotiation that will be engaged now the Government will be at the weaker end because they need something as people’s life and the credibility of the Government and stakeholders are at stake as such they might end up begging.

Adamu also said stopping or preventing such occurrences from taking place will put the Government in a strong position if at all negotiations are going to take place.

“Continuous negotiation will give room for the encouragement of more kidnapping and banditry, resulting in them making money from their sponsors and victim,” he said.

However, a Maiduguri analyst, Dr. Abubakar Sani urges the Government to impose measures to prevent future adoptions and strengthen security.

He said that the abduction of the schoolboys and their teachers does not speak well of us as a country and shows a lack of seriousness in our security system.

Abubakar noted that the continuous abduction of school children will also bring setbacks in the education sector especially in the Northern part of the country as no parent will wish to expose their children to danger.

While reacting to negotiation he said, “When you negotiate with these people you’re motivating them and also encouraging another criminal group”

“As long as the Government will continue to negotiate for the release of those kidnapped the kidnappers will continue to carry out their act. I think the Government should stop paying the ransom to Kidnappers and criminals and engage the use of military force and also channel the resources to prevention, he stated

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