IF stories about the series of kidnaps in Ekiti State do not end with statements from the police, we would think Ekiti State was without the security agencies that dot Nigeria. However, the statements from the authorities in Ekiti State underline empty efforts to halt a cascading decline in the State’s security.
The State Security Council intends to improve security through ban on use of vehicles with tinted glasses, frequent hotel checks, and a threat to seal up hotels that harbour criminals. None of these measures is far from routine measures used all over the country. They have been in place before the surge in kidnapping. If they are just being implemented in Ekiti State, we can assume security operations in the State are below average, or compromised to serve certain purposes.
In its statement, the Council claimed that efforts were on to enact laws to deal with criminals. Are we to assume that laws Ekiti State inherited, some dating back to Western Region, and the ones that its legislators have been making since 1999 are inadequate to deal with the criminals who have taken over the State? Is the Council telling us it cannot act without new laws?
While the State Security Council is unable to resolve the kidnaps argeted mostly against university teachers and medical professionals, it was busy warning against “foreign bodies or security threat” during the May 29 handing-over date. Then it praised security agencies in the State for their efforts in ensuring peace in Ekiti.
Most disheartening was the assurance from the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ojune Ibine, that kidnapped persons would soon be released. It sounds as if the police have the kidnapped persons warehoused “to be released soon”. What are the police doing about threats to other people. There were at least seven reported cases in a week.
How are criminals emboldened to threaten people through text messages?
Can the sources of the messages not be tracked? Why would the police and the other security agencies wait until crimes are fully executed before acting, if ever they act?
Why are the teaching and medical professionals the target of the kidnappers? Why is Ekiti the choice location for these serial crimes?
The security agencies are unlikely to find out, if they are already being praised for “ensuring peace” in Ekiti. What type of peace results in kidnaps?
Ekiti needs help, for the sake of us all. We think Ekiti could be a practising ground for future criminals. If criminals are allowed to prosper in Ekiti, the State would soon be too small to accommodate their big dreams. They would seek a larger platform; the entire country could be their target.