By Ibrahim Hassan – Wuyo
A security expert, Mohammed Garba Potiskum has warned that people should stay at home during the pandemic as kidnappers could strike and demand payment of ransom through POS.
According to him, “kidnapping in general terms has reduced as a result of non-availability of cash in circulation. However, an unconfirmed report available to us claims some kidnappers are utilizing POS on the victims.
“There is more to it than meets the eye in this particular instance (of kidnappers demanding POS). Kidnappers lay ambush and source information on the whereabouts of their victims before they strike.”
He said the spate of crime in Nigeria will be reduced to the barest minimum when the Federal Government strengthens its ties with the numerous security agencies in the country.
Garba Potiskum, the Managing Director and CEO of HNB Security & Protective Company, spoke in Kaduna during a virtual presentation of a paper, entitled “emerging security threat in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and a possible approach to reducing vulnerability and fighting criminal acts.”
Potiskum, who had coordinated the security of late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, said the National Security Strategy framework approved by the President in December 2019 had confirmed 27 existing Security Agencies.
He said the security agencies should find the time and study the Strategic Plans drawn by experts and adopt a systemic approach towards implementing and enforcing the strategy with careful ‘carrot and stick’ as it relates to Nigerian citizens and the people at large.
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“A vital point which should be taken into consideration is the fact that trust is a big issue between the existing Security Agencies while superiority is the Greatest Headache at most quarters,” he said.
He, therefore, advocated a strong need for synergy to achieve the set goals and objectives of the Federal Government on the successful reduction of all criminal acts to the barest minimum.
“The emerging threats might have been in existence but are skyrocketing based on the lock-down, stay at home and remaining indoors, which proves that every person is expected to be in his/her respective homes.”
Potiskum listed Cybercrime, Domestic Violence/Harassment, Home Breakage, Drugs, and Drug Related Issues as crimes likely to perpetrate in the COVID-19 period.
He observed that “people that are addicted to drugs have procured excess narcotic drugs and stored them. “
“And it has become part of their system to take drugs in an attempt to reduce their frustration or loneliness as the case may be. This has also been on the increase based on the lock-down.”
“We must exercise caution in dealing with pharmaceutical medicines and local herbs in order not to abuse drugs while caution must also be exercised on people that are addicted as it can be identified easily based on the indoor syndrome,” he said.
“Kidnapping: Kidnapping is financially induced crime which careful analysis link up the planning stage with involvement of a close unknown persons to the victims. It is unfortunate.”
“Banditry has been on the increase especially as the major source of their service support/logistics arises from Cattle Rustling and weekly markets. The bandits live on food and when their stock gets exhausted, they attack some communities in search of food items and with little resistance, it becomes mayhem.”
“Crime watchers have severally recommended a synergy between various State boundaries to ensure each State gets approval for the Military to carry out ambush bay techniques in order to ensure that running away bandits don’t get shelter in villages within their States.”
He advised that the stay at home order should be adhered to strictly particularly the feminine gender who keeps late nights or runs errands through lonely/deserted roads.
“This is to avoid avoidable exposure to sex crimes and acts of kidnapping,” he said.