Who killed Samaila Inusa? Security agencies could do more to curb the booming crime of kidnapping

The recent abduction and killing of Samaila Inusa, a colonel in the Nigerian Army, was yet another example of the worsening insecurity in the country. That a senior military officer could have his life summarily snuffed out by yet-to-be-known assailants was further indication of how much more unsafe ordinary Nigerians have become. Therefore, while we commiserate with the family of the late colonel and the Nigerian Army, if ever any wake-up call was needed, this is one big tragedy that should worry the authorities, especially given the circumstances under which it happened.

The late colonel, who was serving with the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji near Kaduna, was kidnapped along with his wife around 7 pm in Kaduna on March 27, 2016. His kidnappers had enough time on their hands to drop off his wife before they drove away with him. Two days later, it was his decomposing body that was found.

This is one murder case that raises serious posers: abducted on a Sunday and found dead on a Tuesday without any demand for ransom, suspicions are rife that something was amiss, particularly given the circumstances of his demise. We therefore enjoin the military authorities to be meticulous in fishing out those responsible for this most heinous crime and bring them to justice. In the past, similar instances had led to immediate reprisal attacks from the military, most often directed at wrong targets. Happily, this has not happened. But we do not have to wait for it to happen.

However, the abduction of a top military officer and what appeared to be an execution is worrisome. Certainly, we cannot continue with this kind of mindless killings, whose perpetrators roam our streets fully confident that the long arm of the law has no chance of apprehending them. That is why it is important that the killers of Colonel Inusa be caught and punished.

Incidentally, the incidence of kidnapping for ransom and deaths occasioned by the inability or refusal of victims to pay ransom has been on the increase across the country. The situation is more dreadful than it appears, as only high profile cases are reported by the media. With increasing regularity, hundreds of persons, including children are kidnapped. Yet the security forces have been less than able to deal with this menace that has put citizens on edge.

The more serious danger is that following the glaring impotence of the authorities, this malfeasance appears to have developed into a full scale industry. In the northern parts of the country, for instance, bandits are said to be losing interest in the more laborious rustling, and are settling for kidnapping, which they find less tasking and more profitable. Similarly, in the southern parts of the country, gunmen are turning away from robbing property to carting away human beings for huge ransoms. No doubt, their encouragement comes not only from the lucrative nature of their anti-social acts but also from the fact that they are getting away with their crimes.

Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari, who rode to power on the back of the citizens’ discontent with his predecessor’s handling of the national security challenges must rise to the occasion by moving firmly against this rising crime. Obviously, the prevailing internal security architecture is inadequate to tackle this growing menace called kidnapping. That is why we recommend its total overhaul with a view to strengthening the capacity of our security agencies to deal with this specific crime. The way to go is for government to deploy all in its arsenal to make this and all other forms of crime in our country an unprofitable endeavour.