At 10-Hour Session with Senate, Ribadu Says Kidnapping, Banditry Now Economic Crimes

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday, told senators that kidnapping and banditry had become economic crimes, which many criminals now engaged in to make cool money in the country.
He nevertheless told the federal lawmakers that the efforts of the federal government through the security agencies were already yielding fruits to tame insecurity in the country

A source at the 10-hour meeting between the Senate and heads of security and military agencies on Tuesday, told THISDAY that the high level security parley was convinced that only the decentralisation of the nations security architecture could solve Nigeria’s security challenges.
The source said, “The NSA, ministers and security chiefs took turns to give the lawmakers vivid accounts of their exploits and how that has led to averting any major terrorist attack since President Bola Tinubu took over in May last year.

“After the arrival of the security chiefs, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, gave a short welcome remark, where he spoke about the importance of the Senate’s summons of the security chiefs and the minister of finance, Mr Olawale Edun.
“Following the opening remarks, Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele moved a motion for the Senate to dissolve into a committee of the whole and in closed session.
“As Lawmakers, we went into the meeting with a lot of misgivings and apprehension, the security chiefs allayed our fears and they earned our confidence,” the source stated.

At the end of the marathon session, the senate leadership expressed confidence in the leadership of the security sector and applauded their effort in addressing the security concerns.
The source said, “The NSA, who gave the lead presentation took us  through different components of the security challenges explaining how they met the situation and the changes so far.

“He (Ribadu) spoke about how wanton violence had significantly gone down thus pushing down number of casualties from attacks by armed groups.
“He said Boko Haram and ISWAP now resort to planting IEDs showing that they were regressing from their comfort zones. Ribadu attributed the success in the fight against the Boko Haram to the gallantry of troops and the hard work of the Borno State Government.
“The NSA so told us that 20 gun-running networks were smashed and that over 5,000 military grade weapons were seized and destroyed by government agencies.

“The NSA further told us that sporadic incidents of kidnapping being reported in most parts of the country were pointers that security kidnapping and banditry have now evolved into economic crimes substituting armed robbery as an easy means of making money through criminal means.
“He (Ribadu) said the country is today witnessing significant increase in oil production and relative peace in the South-East region, which was hitherto bedevilled by activities of gunmen, due to concerted military and non-military steps.

“The Chief of Air Staff also gave an excellent account of how the air component of the war complements the work of troops on ground.
“He mentioned how they killed two key leaders of bandits Ali Kacalla and Yellow Janburos, and how that has helped to halt interstate movement of bandits and logistics especially around Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States,” the lawmaker said.
He recalled the Inspector General of Police also speaking about routing out criminals in the suburbans of Abuja and how his men had checkmated activities of one-chance criminals in the capital city.

 “Despite the satisfaction expressed by most lawmakers, who spoke at the session, others pointed areas of operational lapses that deserve attention and urged the service chiefs to ensure harmony and cooperation for maximum success.”

 The source said the lawmakers tasked Edun to prioritise release of funds to security establishments.

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