Estimated reading time: 12 minute(s)
A first class monarch in Ogun state , the Eselu of Isele Kingdom, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Oba (Dr.) Ebenezer Akintunde Akinyemi, (Akaosu I) has frowned at the bill being considered by the Senate House on criminalization of payment of ransom to kidnappers.
Oba Akinyemi expressed that the bill is a ‘‘misplaced priority, unpopular and needless at the time the country is faced with security challenges.
The Ogun monarch said this in an Open letter written to the Senate President, Ahmed L and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta.
He noted that the 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.
Oba Akinyemi said, “I write to express my opinions on the proposed Bill on Criminalization of Payment of Ransom in our dear country, Nigeria.
“I want to inform Your Excellency that I am averse/opposed to the Bill on Criminalization of Ransom Payment that is now being debated upon in the Hallowed Chamber of the Senate.
The monarch condemned the kidnappings clamping the country down.
He added, “with all sense of honesty, I totally condemn the menace of kidnapping that has now ravaged our dear country, Nigeria.
“As a patrotic 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”.
He further said the proposed bill is not what should be considered at the moment when the governments has failed in their duties to protect the citizens.
Oba Akinyemi further said when the security apparatus of the country is in shambles, and the government want to sanction punish ransom payers, will the captive now remain in the kidnappers’ den?
He stressed, “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”.
Oba Akinyemi expressed that if such Bill is to be considered at all, the security apparatus must have been tightened and the captives should be rescued.
He noted, “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.
He however urged the FG to gain the trust of the security officers by insuring their lives and fully equip the Force.
“In my opinion, the Federal Government should take the following steps before passing and implementing this type of Bill: Put in place an effective Nigeria Police Rescue Team, 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, insure the lives of the men of the Nigeria Police Force so as to give confidence to them and their families,and provide all the necessary facilities/amenities to make all the security personnel in Nigeria function well.
“Senate President Sir, I believe in this Bill, but let the Federal Government 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”, he concluded.
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
FOOTNOTE: Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org