VIDEO OF BANDITS WITH RPG: PROOF THAT NEGOTIATING WITH CRIMINALS PUTS THE COUNTRY AT GREATER RISK
Bandits who kidnapped passengers travelling along Zungeru road in Niger state have released a video showing the victims are alive.
The kidnappers appear heavily armed with one of the criminals holding a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and others carrying AK 47 rifles.
The captives which included toddlers, women, and men were made to sit on the floor in what appears to be a settlement.
The victims were kidnapped on Sunday, February 14 while travelling on a Niger State Transport Authority bus to Minna.
Eons Intelligence reported that 10 of the kidnapped victims were released on Tuesday, ostensibly negotiated release facilitated by the state governor.
Niger state has become a hotbed for bandits. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, gunmen invaded the Government Science College in the state and abducted an undisclosed number of students and staff.
This underscores the potential danger in ransom negotiation and amnesty for banditry as it reinforces them the more and helps them to recruit more fighters and procure more arms. This in turn motivates more criminals to engage in it thus creating another web of an unending criminal enterprise that will cause more harm and propel the nation into a failed state sooner than predicted.
As it stands, Nigeria has one of the world's highest kidnap-for-ransom cases, rivalling countries such as Venezuela, Mexico Yemen, Syria, the Philipines, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia according to a Quartz report.
Eons Intelligence security analysts project that kidnapping would rise to become Nigeria's biggest security challenge in 2021 if current trends remain unchecked.
Bandits attacks have greatly skyrocketed in the north in recent times, with communities living in Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna, Nassarawa living in fear.
The kidnap of over 300 boys from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina state in December 2020 made international news.
The effrontery of such attacks and Boko Haram's Shekau interest in the schoolboys showed a disturbing possibility of bandits teeming up with insurgents to wreak havoc on the country.
Let’s mention the Kankara boys and several communities being kidnapped in Zamfara. Kebbi, Katsina. Niger and those killed in Kaduna, Benue. Nassarawa, Kogi, etc
A situation where no unified national position or policy on the management of terror acts of this nature or enforcement of the same if it exists, gives room for state governors to act as they deem fit- even if it only presents temporary relief but long term negative implication on national security.
Eons intelligence strongly opposes negotiation with bandits and banditry. National Emergency should be declared on kidnapping and banditry whereby, decisions on the response will only be carried out within the framework spelt out in the national response policy for such and limits discretion and political considerations by state governments without excluding them from being part of it.
A situation where one state is seen as creating a safe haven for bandits while others are at war with the criminals only complicates efforts at ridding the country of these criminal elements.
Now that the menace is spreading to several other states, it won’t be long before we submit to the strength of the criminals. We can’t afford to be another Mexico or Columbia where kidnapping has been institutionalized and become a general way of life