Nigerians have been warned to be curious about the personalities of people that will vie for political posts in 2023, as some of them might be kidnappers that have amassed wealth from collecting ransoms.
A university lecturer who is also a criminologist, Dr. Oludayo Tade said this at a security summit held at the SAF Group of Schools’ Hall, at Iseyin, Iseyin local government on Saturday, where there was a convergence of community stakeholders to discuss the lingering cases of kidnapping in Nigeria, especially within and around the community.
Tade who was the guest lecturer at the summit, spoke on the topic: ‘Rising Cases of Kidnapping: Beyond Ethnic Stereotype, Mirroring Local Causes & Solutions’, challenged the people of Iseyin and its environs to look inward for solutions, as those perpetrating the evil act live with them.
“As things are going, we may elect kidnappers in 2023, with the successes they record from their operations around the country, we all should know that they now have so much money for them to do whatever they like, and as you know about Nigerians, they may even vie for political posts.
“The onus is on us residents to localize our approach to curbing criminalities, especially kidnapping, knowing fully well that our State actors are performing their roles but are limited by insufficient logistics in appropriate weaponry, mobility and other inputs, it is important that we give them our support.”
Dr. Oludayo who gave the historical perspective of kidnapping in Nigeria analyzed that people in the past kidnapped kids for ritual purpose, but has metamorphosed into money-making enterprize.
He however charged residents to collaborate with the security agents and give information about suspicious people and activities, to nip crimes in the bud, advised people to stop what he called ‘social media showoff and also cooperate with neighboring communities, to avoid movement of criminals flushed out of a particular community into another.
The Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Ahmed Raji SAN, who was represented by the former Chairman of Iseyin local government, Alhaji Saheed Alaran, appreciated the convener of the summit, saying the meeting came at the right time, as kidnap cases have permeated the whole nation and has caused so much negative effects on the local economy.
He enjoined the people to make haste in reporting suspicious people and activities to the security personnel or the traditional head in the particular area, in the case of fear of leakage of identity.
“While appreciating the idea behind this summit, we have to face the truth that as much as our people would want to tell the police and other security agencies about their suspicions, the fear of reprisal in case their identity were to be revealed to the perpetrators of the crime is there, but our joy is that the State actors here have given their words that they will keep the identity of the informant secret, so there is no need to fear anymore.
“If anybody still nurses that fear, then you can give the information to the traditional head of the area which we call Baale, any information from such a quarter will be taken seriously by the security and will not dare to reveal their source of information,” he assured.
The representative of the traditional rulers who is the Baale of Alokongbo community in Iseyin, Chief Adesokan Olaniyi called on the leadership of the Fulani herders in Iseyin community to have the data and other information of migrating herders so as to be able to monitor them and dissuade them from perpetrating crime.
Representatives of the police, Directorate of State Security (DSS), the Customs Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Immigration Service, Amotekun and Agro Rangers spoke as one when they appealed for more support from the people of the community.
They also warned that residents should be wary of those they live with and called on landlords to know the sources of livelihood of their tenants while charging traditional rulers to know what those that bought lands in their domains were doing with the land.
The Convener of the summit who is a journalist and community newspaper publisher, Mr Alhazan Abiodun said the reason for the gathering was to access the minds of the various stakeholders on the causes and solutions to the recent rise in cases of kidnapping in Iseyin and other areas in the Oke-Ogun region.
He assured that the stakeholders have shown enough commitment to cooperate with the conventional security agents as well as the local security committee in the community, in the areas of logistics support, communication of adequate information and extension of goodwill from the residents to the security agents.