Reps Want State Of Emergency Declared On Kidnapping

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Concerned about the incessant kidnapping in the country, the House of Representatives yesterday urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping.

The House also asked the executive arm to as a matter of urgency, convene a security summit over the increasing cases of kidnapping across Nigeria.

The decision emanated from a motion moved by Hon. Babatunde Kolawole under matters of urgent public importance.

In its resolution, the House said the security summit should include stakeholders such as all security agencies in the country, all the telecommunication service providers, the House’s committees on national intelligence, army, airforce, navy, police and communication, with the aim of finding an effective response against the menace.

Leading debate on the motion, Hon. Kolawole lamented that a London-based intelligence gathering firm, NYA International had in the past ranked Nigeria as the country with the highest kidnapping attempts in the world, “accounting for 26 per cent of all recorded incidents, followed by Mexico with 10 per cent”.

The lawmaker who recalled some high profile kidnap cases in the country, to the most recent which involved students and teachers of a Lagos school said, “Nigeria is now ranked kidnap capital of the world having risen from 475 reported cases in 2011, 500 in 2012 and presently over 1,500 cases annually”.

He also expressed worry that the records have affected tourism and investment potentials in Nigeria, as most countries issue constant travel warnings to their citizens, adding that it was more disturbing “about the alleged connivance of some criminal elements in our security agencies with the kidnappers”.

Similarly, Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa noted that kidnapping and hostage taking is gradually becoming the order of the day.

adding that it now affected both the rich and poor as 26 local farmers were recently abducted in his constituency, which the Kano State police command has secured the release of only 11 so far.

On his part, Hon. Tope Olayonu took a swipe at his colleagues for not speaking up against kidnapping all the while.

According to him, the concerns expressed by his colleagues was borne out of fear

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