No ransom payment!

0
140

*FG orders security agencies to rescue all kidnap victims, warns against ransom

*Says security agencies taking proactive steps to ensure crimes are halted significantly

*Vows that govt will no longer condone abductions, kidnapping, other criminality

*Assures families of victims of speedy action to release their loved ones

By Our Correspondent

President Bola Tinubu has instructed security agencies in the country to ensure the safe return of all kidnap victims in different parts of the country, just as he tasked them to ensure no ransom is paid to achieve this.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the State House, Abuja, after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Tinubu.

President Tinubu had earlier reacted to many incidents of abduction, which were reported in Borno and Kaduna states, given instructions to security and intelligence agencies on ensuring the immediate release of the victims, even as he assured families of the victims of speedy action on the release of their loved ones.

He however said the incidences of kidnapping, especially in the Northwest axis of the country, spiked in the last few days, with cases of ransom demands also shooting upwards.

It would be recalled that a band of kidnappers, which kidnapped a total of 16 persons from the Gonin-Gora area of Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna State, had demanded N40 trillion, eleven Hilux Toyota vans and 150 motorcycles for the release of their victims.

Also, bandits in Sokoto State kidnapped 15 Qur’anic students, and recently established contact with the families, demanding a sum of N20 million as ransom before they would be released.

Again, about 61 locals were reportedly abducted by bandits in Buda community, Kajuru Local government Area of Kaduna State on Monday.

However, relaying the president’s instruction to security agencies during the FEC meeting, Alhaji Idris said Tinubu was emphatic about his no-ransom-payment position, though he had told them to ensure all victims were rescued, without any excuse.

He said: “You’re also asking about the apparent surge in this kidnapping across the country. Now it is true that some of these are happening, we have seen what has happened in Kaduna, in Borno, and then in Sokoto.”

“Of course, the government is watching that very closely and not just watching, but also ensuring that security agencies are taking proactive steps to ensure that this is halted significantly.

“Now, like I said, Mr. President has said that is an unacceptable situation and the government will not condone abductions or kidnappings or any kind of criminality in that direction.

“We’re seeing this happening and the government is taking very proactive steps, first to mitigate that, and also to stop the spread of this apparently.

“We are seeing that the more the security agencies are also hitting these targets or criminals, the more they are pushed to also getting some soft targets. But the government is not making any excuses.

“The President has directed that security agencies must, as a matter of urgency, ensure that these children and all those who have been kidnapped are brought back in safety and also in the process to ensure that not a dime is paid for ransom.

“So it’s important to underscore that no dime, government is not paying anybody any dime and the government is optimistic that these children and other people that have been abducted will be brought back to their families in safety”, he added.