*Pantami says friend raised N50M
*Rejig security architecture, kidnappers, bandits operating unhindered, Atiku charges FG
*Blames security agencies for under-utilising NIN in tracking terrorists, kidnappers
.Police warn Nigerians not to cry more than the bereaved
Emmanuel Addeh and Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Chiemelie Ezeobi, Sunday Ehigiator, Ayodeji Ake in Lagos
Mixed reactions have followed the call to crowdfund a N6 million ransom demanded by kidnappers for the release of the remaining five daughters of Alhaji Mansoor Al-Kadriyar. Six siblings were abducted from their father’s house in Bwari Council, Abuja, on December 26, 2023, alongside their father, while his younger brother, Abdulfatai, was killed on the spot by the abductors.
Although their father was later released to go and raise the ransom, the kidnappers killed one of his daughters, Nabeeha, last Friday for failing to raise the said ransom, leaving five alive.
Nabeeha’s death got the family and well-wishers scrambling to raise the funds, with appeals for help flooding social media platforms.
In a bid to raise money, Nigerians were urged to donate whatever they could into a crowdfunding bank account to aid the family.
But the move drew mixed reactions, as some Nigerians decried the trend, noting that it would merely embolden the kidnappers to abduct more.
Others were, however, of the opinion that lives were at stake and so should be the priority, and nothing was amiss since the masses had become their own government in providing basic amenities for themselves.
Joining the latter school of thought, former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said his friend had brought N50 million to aid the release of the girls, as the ransom deadline of Tuesday, January 16, approached.
Pantami said on his X handle, “I am personally not in support of paying ransom to criminals.
“However, since it became clear that we lost our daughter, Nabeeha, yesterday, and the five remaining daughters have been threatened, as I spoke with the father on the matter yesterday and today.
“Furthermore, I spoke with a friend and a brother who offered to pay the remaining N50 million of the N60 million immediately. I conveyed the account number of the father of our daughters, Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, to the friend and brother to send the money directly.
“Any additional amount earlier generated from yesterday, the father can use to treat the daughters and other family members, in sha Allah.”
On why the NIN-SIM data, which he enforced while in office, could not be utilised in tackling crime, Pantami blamed the security agencies for failing to utilise data generated.
The data generated from National Identity Number (NIN), which is linked to the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), was initially built to track and curb crimes involving the use of mobile phone.
When the order to that effect was approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020, Nigerians whose SIM cards were not connected to NIN had their lines disconnected.
Reacting to Mr Mentus’s tweet @RolandMentus, questioning the lack of NIN tracking, Pantami wrote, “NIN-SIM policy has been working. However, the relevant institutions fighting criminality are to be requested to ensure they utilise it effectively when a crime is committed. Lack of utilising it is the main problem, not the policy.
“On the lack of utilisation, I am more worried than anyone, as my life was threatened by criminals for reintroducing it, including on BBC Hausa and and national dailies; I resisted and ensured its implementation.
“If it is not being utilised by the relevant institutions in charge of securing lives and property, then I am more frustrated than any person, as I sacrificed my life and ignored all the threats to life. This is just a point out of 100 on the policy.”
Reacting to the kidnap incident, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in a statement on X, lamented that kidnappers and bandits were operating unhindered in the country.
Atiku wrote, “I am saddened by reports of the brutal murder of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, who was abducted with her siblings and has been in the custody of their abductors for almost two weeks.
“This is yet another reminder that kidnappers and bandits are operating unhindered in our country.
“The security architecture needs to be rejigged to the extent that it stems from the free rein of criminal elements and guarantees the safety of lives and property.
“The security agencies should step up action to rescue the rest who are still in the custody of the kidnappers.”
Meanwhile, spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, drew the ire of Nigerians on X, when he told an X user to stop crying more than the bereaved.
Responding to a user with the handle, @itz_Jayb1, who had asked him to reach out to the affected family directly for more information about the incident, instead of seeking open communication, Adejobi said, “Don’t cry more than the bereaved, Ok.”
Salah Ad-Din II wrote, “This kind of brazen insensitivity in such trying times deserve to be sanctioned. At the very least, ACP Muyiwa should cease to be the spox of NPF.
“When a spox tactlessly draws the ire of the public consistently. He’s a liability to effective communication and public relations.”
@Allezamani wrote, “Nigerians are in for a long ride, may we never need the help of the Nigeria Police force.”
@Abdyekeen-Bash wrote, “You’re doing more damage to the police and yourself, this is how revolution starts, talking arrogantly like this amounts to mocking the victims and the ordinary sympathisers. You can keep quiet you know.”