The alarming rise in insecurity across Nigeria has resulted in a drastic upswing in the kidnapping of innocent civilians by kidnappers, as well as armed bandits and terrorist insurgents. Over the past few weeks, people residing in Abuja, have been gripped by fear due to the escalating number of assaults and kidnappings witnessed in the area. In addition to the Abuja scenarios, cases of kidnapping for ransom remain prevalent in Kaduna, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, and various other regions within the country. Besides this alarming issue, terrorists continue to carry out fatal attacks on Nigerian citizens, with particular focus on the North-central areas.
Most recent of these is the incident that occurred on Christmas Eve in the Plateau State’s local government areas of Mangu, Bokkos, and Barkin-Ladi. These current distressing scenarios have stirred up widespread questioning among Nigerians about the effectiveness of employing technology in the country’s ongoing fight with insecurity. Among the initiatives undertaken by the government thus far was the implementation of the NIN-SIM linking scheme, designed to bolster security endeavors. Nigerians are increasingly urging the government to improve their utilization of technology in the battle against insecurity, given the ongoing challenges faced in the security landscape.
Employing tech will aid the strive to create a safer environment.
Citizens stress the vital role of cutting-edge technology and seamless data merging in strengthening the nation’s security infrastructure. underscoring the significance of technology, they pinpoint the necessity for a holistic and interconnected framework capable of efficiently tracking and monitoring criminal activities. Even with the NIN-SIM linkage measures in place, the recent kidnapping has sparked a stronger call for the implementation of advanced technology to address Nigeria’s security challenges. Nigerians posit that employing technological advancements will enable the country to stay ahead of criminals, thereby aid in the strive to create a safer environment for everyone.
In a recent statement made on his X account, Ali Isa Pantami, the former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, claimed that the recent increase in kidnappings can be directly linked to the ineffective implementation of the NIN-SIM policy by security personnel. This policy was actively pursued during Pantami’s tenure. He expressed these views in response to concerns raised about the policy’s effectiveness amidst the ongoing security challenges faced by the nation. Pantami countered the criticisms by asserting the efficacy of the policy, exemplifying three distinct instances where its implementation directly facilitated the accomplishments of various operations.
Govt urged Nigerians to stop paying ransom to kidnappers.
He proposed that inquiries be directed towards the relevant organizations dedicated to combating criminal activities, emphasizing the need to maximize the effectiveness of policy implementation, especially in the context of addressing criminal incidents. Speaking during the Federal Executive Council meeting held in Abuja last week, Minister of Defense, Mohammed Badaru urged Nigerians to stop providing ransom payments to both kidnappers and bandits. Badaru noted that yielding to these demands may inadvertently fuel the criminal’s appetite for more, ultimately jeopardizing the safety of the public. Furthermore, he underlined that paying ransoms to kidnappers directly violates Nigerian legislation.
According to him, President Bola Tinubu had a critical discussion with service chiefs recently, instructing security agencies to intensify their efforts in eliminating the individuals behind criminal activities in society, as observed by Badaru. Lamenting the absence of an adequate database in the nation, Lai Omotola, the group managing director of Masters Reality International Concepts Ltd., held the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) — accountable for this shortfall. Omotola said the inadequate performance of the commission has resulted in security agencies facing challenges in tracking criminals within the nation.
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Omotola expressed her concern about the incomplete inclusion of Nigerians in the database, saying that a robust database is required to effectively monitor the security situation in the country. Addressing the difficulties in apprehending criminals listed in the database, Omotola stressed that inadequate tracking equipment and personnel were significant hurdles faced by security agencies. When it comes to the matter of providing ransom in exchange for hostages, he said that when security measures fall short, the subsequent priority is to safeguard lives. He contended that if the government is incapable of halting kidnapping incidents, they cannot forbid Nigerians from paying a ransom.