We’ve Many People Benefitting From Kidnapping, Banditry’ – Lawan
On Tuesday, Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate President, said some people are benefitting from the recurring cases of kidnapping and banditry across the country. He did not name these people.
He made this comment shortly after the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs at plenary.
The Senate confirmed the service chiefs after it adopted the report of the Senate joint committees on Defence, Army and Navy who screened the nominees.
The lawmaker was congratulating the new service chiefs and admonishing them to work hard and tackle insecurity in the country when he said ”some people are benefiting from the kidnappings and banditry”.
Although he did not mention the names of the supposed beneficiaries, Mr Lawan said ”the menace has since become an industry”.
“A situation whereby a group of people will go to a school and take over 300 students away on motorcycles is not accepted.
“Kidnapping without a trace is not acceptable. Something has to give because, apparently, this is becoming an industry, some people are benefiting from this and we have to unravel who these people are, and fight bandits and insurgents until we rescue our country,” he said.
He further advised the service chiefs to ensure inter-agency corporation and pledged the support of the National Assembly to the security sector.
Mr Lawan’s statement comes on the heels of kidnappings in the north with the most recent being the abduction of students in Niger and another 317 in Zamfara State.
The students have since been released.
It also comes amidst controversies and speculations that the bandits are being paid millions to release their victims.
Political leaders have denied paying bandits. Even Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, who served as a mediator when some passengers and students were kidnapped in Niger State, had told the public that the bandits were not paid to release their victims.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently advised state governors to desist from offering ransoms for the release of abductees promising that his administration would not cave in to the demands of criminal elements.