Kidnapping as a crime made a bold return to the centre of prime media attention when, within the past three weeks, two females, one a  journalist were snatched from their homes. On 30th August 2015, Donu Kogbara, a columnist with Vanguard Newspapers, was forcibly taken away in Port Harcourt and it took about two weeks for her to be freed.

Just as the good news was being savoured, armed robbers invaded the home of the Deputy Managing Director of The SUN Newspapers, Steve Nwosu and, after robbing them of their valuables, took his wife, Oluwatoyin, away. She spent four days in her captors’ den. Kidnapping has thus graduated from a crime of protest by Niger Delta militants to a situation whereby armed thieves steal human beings for ransom along with their property.

Kidnapping has become one of the troubling security challenges of the nation. It must engage the attention of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has made security of lives and property   one of its three-point agenda for action.

The nation is reeling, not just from the war on terror in the Northeast frontier. We are battling with other high crimes such as armed robbery, oil thievery, pipeline vandalism, ritual murders, cultism etc.

The need for a national agenda to confront these daunting challenges has taken on a high note of urgency. The Buhari regime should call a national summit on these security problems to create national consciousness and thereafter constitute a committee of experts to articulate a comprehensive plan of action.

We may need to create special forces dedicated to the prevention of kidnapping through early identification of the crime cells, and when such crimes do take place these forces can take necessary measures to secure the release of victims. The regular Nigerian Police and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) must be fully rejuvenated, while the armed forces should play desired roles when the need arises.

However, the task of securing the people’s lives and property cannot work if left to the government forces alone. The Nigerian public must be brought into the picture to join hands, especially in helping with useful information and intelligence. These criminals live among the people, and most of them are known. The people must be sensitised and encouraged to be security conscious and vigilant.

Crime only thrives when a society is not seriously committed to confronting it frontally. We urge the Buhari administration to beam the same level of attention it is giving to the war on corruption and the eradication of Boko Haram to the protection of lives and property of Nigerians who now live in fear.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.