Michael Olugbode in Abuja
ActionAid Nigeria has expressed worries over the surge in insecurity in the country after the end of the election, insisting that government at all levels must wake up to their primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of her citizenry.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) also insisted that the depth of insecurity in the nation requires deploying dire measures like the use of technology for security surveillance, crime fighting and for track and rescue.
A signed statement yesterday by the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, read: “ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has been following the unfolding killings in Kaduna and Jos and recently in Anambra with keen interest and has deemed it fit to address this, in addition to other emerging insecurity trends across the nation, that have led to displacement of families and communities and economic disruption in affected locations.
“Evidently, in the weeks leading to the general elections, insecurity was a noticeable reduced across the country but now seemingly rapidly increasing again with banditry, kidnapping, and livestock rustling with most of the incidents occurring in the middle belt and northern Nigeria, which represent the country’s farming belt.
“Worthy of mention is the killing of four Consulate workers and their Police Escorts in Anambra, the disturbing massacre of about 130 women and children in Jos and the unending killings in Southern Kaduna. We cannot also forget the reported killing of about 33 persons in Zango, Kataf in Southern Kaduna on the 16th of April 2023, the kidnapping of students at GSS in Kachia, Kaduna state alongside others and the abductions in Zamfara, Kaduna and other places across the nation. Sadly, on the aggregate, it is estimated that over ₦5 billion was paid as ransom to kidnappers over the last five years according to SBM Intelligence, indicating that the country’s kidnapping industry is witnessing an ugly boom.”
Ene added: “The continuous rise in insecurity is dangerous to the economy and a turn-off to investors. The insecurity trend, particularly as a new administration takes over will not only decrease investors’ confidence, but it will eventually lead to a decline in foreign direct investment.
“Multinationals and other foreign investors in the country may begin to redirect their investments to more stable and secure locations that offer better protection for their resources and operation. A continuous attack on humanitarian workers as seen in Anambra may also disrupt delivery of aid and limit the ability of humanitarian workers to provide essential services to those in need.”
She said: “ActionAid Nigeria therefore calls on the Federal, State and Local Governments to wake up to their primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of her Citizenry. The depth of insecurity in the nation requires deploying dire measures like the use of technology for security surveillance, crime fighting and for track and rescue. All tiers of Government and the security agents are also reminded that the citizens are the cornerstone of a nation’s development, and their skills, labour, creativity, and active participation in social, economic, and political spheres are essential for driving progress, fostering innovation and building a prosperous and sustainable society.”
The NGO affirmed that kidnapping is a complex issue induced by various socio-economic factors such as hunger and poverty, insisting that: “Hence a comprehensive kinetic and non-kinetic approach that includes promoting digital financial transactions with the peculiarities of the rural and excluded communities considered, increased social interventions and effective law enforcement must be deepened across the nation.
“Citizens are also enjoined to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities and individuals to the appropriate authorities while also collaborating with relevant authorities in identifying kidnapping risks and preventive measures within their localities.”