A First-Class Monarch in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Eselu of Iselu Kingdom, Oba (Dr.) Ebenezer Akintunde AKINYEMI, JP, FCIMN (Akaosu I), has condemned the proposed Bill on Criminalization of Payment of Ransom in the country.
Oba Ebenezer who stated this in a letter sent to the Senate President Ahmed Lawan claimed that the proposed Bill being debated upon in the Hallowed Chamber of the Senate.
He maintained that “With all sense of honesty, I totally condemn the menace of kidnapping that has now ravaged our dear country, Nigeria. As a parotic citizen, I will always support any steps that governments at all levels take with the view to ridding our country off all manners of criminalities, including the crime of kidnapping that is sadly gaining more currency/popularity in our country these days.
Oba Ebenezer pointed out sharply that the government at all levels have failed in their responsibility in protecting the citizens lives.
He said, “However, I feel the Bill that is proposing a 15-year jail term for payers of ransom to kidnappers is a misplaced priority, unpopular and needless at this precious time because governments at all levels have failed in their responsibility to protect the lives and property of Nigerian citizens due mainly to the poor security architecture in the entire country.
If families of kidnapped persons cannot pay ransom due to the proposed Bill and government too does not have an effective security architecture to rescue the victims, it then means that the victims of kidnapping will be in the kidnappers’ dens till eternity. Lives of some of them may even be in danger in the hands of their abductors. Will that not amount to a double jeopardy for the victims’ families? I am sure the children of the proponents of the Bill are not in this unsecure country”.
He Opined that the federal government should take some security steps before passing and Implementing the type of Bill.
In his word,”To me, the first thing we should do is to develop a security strategy that will make the Nigeria Police Force and other Security Forces possess the competence and capacity to aggressively confront the crime of kidnapping in Nigeria.
“If we want the Bill to be popular, the Federal Government should first rescue Leah Sharibu and other hundreds of innocent Nigerians who are still being held in kidnappers’ dens in all the nooks and crannies of our country, Nigeria.
“1.Put in place an effective Nigeria Police Rescue Team.
2. Boost the morale of the men of the Nigeria Police Force and other Security agencies in the country to enable them put in all their best.
3. Insure the lives of the men of the Nigeria Police Force so as to give confidence to them and their families.
4. Provide all the necessary facilities/amenities to make all the security personnel in Nigeria function well.
However, he urged the Federal Government to put in place a formidable and effective Police Rescue Team solely for tackling kidnapping activities and give them a marching order to first rescue all innocent Nigerians in kidnappers’ dens before implementing the Bill that cannot guarantee the safety of kidnapped persons and their families.