The Secretary Government of Katsina State, Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, has called on residents of the state, especially family, friends and associates of those Kidnapped to stop paying ransom as some of the measures needed to checkmate activities of kidnappers in the state.
Mustapha is the Head of Amnesty Committee constituted by the state government, gave the warning while answering questions on how to stop kidnapping and banditry in the state.
“Another important issue that the government will need to do is to sensitise the populace of the implication of paying ransom. Once ransom will continue to be paid, these people will find it very difficult to stop their crime, because in a situation where you kidnap somebody and receive millions of Naira me what they will do to end this morning within a week or so?” he said.
He however noted that people may be under pressure to pay the ransom and have their loved ones released, but insisted that not paying the ransom as requested will make the bandits abandon the act.
SGS added,“we can understand it is a very delicate situation but people have to make sacrifices. Other countries stopped kidnappings by refusing to pay a ransom.”
He also noted that security agencies should try “to block their (bandits) sources of fire arms. it is very clear that most of the arms these bandits are using come from Niger Republic. So it is the responsibility of the federal agencies, especially the intelligence unit, to look at ways of how these things are coming and block it. …… If you allow this proliferation of arms , this issue will never end”
Other measures according to him. should be inclusion of all states in the region in the strategy to fight banditry, noting that a state can’t achieve the desired goal.
He debunked the reports that of the state government paid N344 million (N1 million per head) as a ransom for the release of the schoolboys.
“We can understand it is a very delicate situation because you cannot tell somebody whose loved one is kidnapped not to pay the ransom because the major fear is they will be killed. It is a dicey situation but people have to make sacrifices. Other countries stopped kidnappings by refusing to pay the ransom but for anybody killed in the process, the government paid compensation.
“Because people now connived to kidnap their relations to collect the ransom and because it has become lucrative.
“The government will need to do sensitise on the populace of the implication of paying the ransom. Once ransom will continue to be paid, these people will find it very difficult to stop their crime, because in a situation where you kidnap somebody and receive millions of naira, tell me what they will do to earn this money within a week or so?
“Take it from me that not a dime was given to those people (bandits) in order to release these boys,” Inuwa stated