By Clara Egbogota
The Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Isha Akintola, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order heads of all security outfits in the country to eliminate all known kidnappers’ camps and hideouts.
Akintola in his Eid-el-fitri message on Tuesday said that security agencies should take the battle to the kidnappers camps.
He also urged government to introduce welfare packages for the poor as a mitigating factor to checking these societal ills.
According to him, it is high time we addressed the issue of kidnapping squarely. Our approach to it in this country is absolutely wrong.
He said, “We surrender to kidnappers and pay ransom so easily.
“We are aware that our security men have not been able to storm the kidnappers’ camps for fear that they may kill some of the victims, not because they are afraid of the kidnappers.
“But that is when the objective is to rescue the victims. They must now be given a different order. Their new task must be to use every legitimate means to stop further kidnappings.”
He said that Nigerians must cooperate with the government in ending kidnappings in the country .
He also said that Nigerians should be prepared to make sacrifices.
“Unless we do this, the kidnappers will continue to pick us one after the other and make us pay through our noses until virtual every Nigerian has fallen victim.
“It is certain that some of the kidnapped victims may be killed while some will be rescued if the kidnappers’ dens are raided. But we just have to face this grim possibility.
“It is a war situation and casualties are expected on both sides. This is the sacrifice we have to make in order to liberate ourselves. Freedom is never free it comes with a price.
“It is a time for political leaders to come together and act like a single body of responsible and patriotic citizens. The blame game must stop,” he said.
Akintola also advocated the use of carrot and stick method as a solution to the scourge of kidnapping rampaging several parts of the country.
“We don’t want to die because we are too materialistic. We have forgotten that life in this world is ephemeral.The criminals are enjoying it because they are having their way.
“While we subscribe to the theory that this is an uprising of the poor against the rich, I must affirm that the kidnappers in particular have gone too far.
“It is time for the government, politicians, the press and the good people of Nigeria to adopt the ‘O to gee’ slogan meaning it is enough ; and confront kidnappers headlong,” he said.
MURIC also urged the Federal Government to review its decision to revoke the licences given to gun owners as it would expose citizens to attacks by hoodlums.
“Although we frown at the proliferation of guns, we believe that owners of licences should be screened so that only decent and law-abiding people are allowed to own guns.
“The indiscriminate withdrawal of licences given to gun owners will further boost the kidnap industry as the criminals will now realise that they are free to raid homes without the fear of any challenge.”
Akintola advised politicians, the press and the citizens to give the government every necessary support.
He also implored government to consider welfare packages for the unemployed Nigerians to help them cushion the effects of joblessness.