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Massive investments, job opportunities, panacea to kidnapping, banditry — AfDB President

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Commiserates with Zamfara govt, people on Tsafe killings
•Banditry, violent attacks ‘ll soon come to an end — Buhari
•Prelate seeks life imprisonment for kidnapping culprits

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Rotimi Ojomoyela

ABUJA — President Muhammadu Buhari has, for the umpteenth time, assured that cases of banditry and violent attacks on innocent Nigerians will soon be a thing of the past.

The President also commiserated with the government and people of Zamfara State on the recent infiltration of bandits, who killed several innocent citizens in Tsafe Local Government Area of the state.

Buhari’s assurance came as President of African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, said the menace of kidnapping and banditry in Nigeria could only be arrested with more investments and job opportunities for the youths.

This is even as Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu, called for life imprisonment for persons found culpable for kidnapping in the country.

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Condemning the banditry attack on Tsafe, President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja yesterday, described the bandit attacks as callous and despicable, assuring the people of Zamfara and other Nigerians who have lost loved ones to violent attacks that the government, under his watch, would soon bring such dastardly acts to an end.

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Commending the new administration in the state for putting in place new security measures to curtail the activities of criminals and bandits, the President urged them not to despair but to see the latest attack as a challenge to step up collective actions to rout the enemy, in partnership with the federal government.

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He urged law enforcement agencies to take prompt and timely actions against the wicked attackers, and also appealed to citizens to have faith in the security agencies by giving them useful information on the plans and movements of bandits.

Adesina on investments

Reacting to the spate of banditry and kidnapping in the country, president of African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, said the menace could only be arrested with more investments and job opportunities for the youths.

Adesina said government must find an ingenious way of creating jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youths, in order to secure the future of the country.

The AfDB President said this during a high level meeting between the Ekiti State government team, led by Governor Kayode Fayemi and the AfDB management at the organisation’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, at the weekend.

Fayemi had gone there to solicit the support of the bank on the upgrading of the state’s infrastructure.

Adesina expressed the readiness of the bank to provide technical and financial support for Ekiti State Government to upgrade its infrastructure, including fixing the Ado Ekiti- Akure road, which is currently in a terrible state.


Life jail term for kidnappers

Meanwhile, Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu, has called for life imprisonment for persons found culpable for kidnapping in the country.

Kanu made the call while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of the awards of Knights to members of the church yesterday in Abuja.

“Those who kidnap and those who perpetuate evil should be jailed for life because they are enemies of the society, I will not subscribe to death penalty,”he said.

He called for increased funding for the security agencies to effectively carry out their responsibilities, adding that the funds should be monitored to avoid diversion by some corrupt officials.

Kanu said that President Buhari has good intention for the country but noted some individuals within the government have decided to use the funds for other purposes.

He alleged that some disgruntled elements were also behind all the kidnappings across the country.

The clergy expressed concern over the level of prosecution and conviction of persons arrested for kidnappings and other crimes by security agencies in the country.

He said the lack of diligent prosecution had left those arrested for the crime off the hook to work freely on the streets.

Kanu enjoined all Nigerians to join hands in the fight against insecurity, adding that security agencies  alone could not do it.

He advised President Buhari to use the next four years to focus on massive food production and the economy that would enhance the living standard of Nigerians.

He also advised the Federal Government to invest more on the youths to help curtail the insecurity in the country.

“If Nigeria want to save itself from security challenges, it must invest in the youths,’’ the Prelate said.

The award of Knight of John Wesley was given to 36 members of the church and Knight of Charles Wesley to three members of the church.

Other awards given were that of the Officers of the Order of Wesley to eight members and Members of the Order of Wesley to six members.

Kanu said that it was a motivation for the members to do more for the church and not a retirement incentive.

The clergy said that disobedience to the word of God had always resulted to disastrous consequences, urging members to invest more in the church.

Dr Ochapa Ogenyi and Mrs   Yewande Usman who were beneficiaries, said that the award was a beginning of service to God and humanity.


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