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Group Chides Pantami for paying Ransom of Kidnapped relation ,Says it encourages Banditry Business


Group Chides Pantami for paying Ransom of Kidnapped relation ,Says it encourages Banditry Business

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Group under the aegis of Coalition for Peace and National Unity Condemns has condemned payment of ransom to kidnappers by the immediate past Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mal. Isa Pantami.

Recalled that On Wednesday, January 5, gunmen invaded the residence of a family in Bwari area council, the Zuma 1 area of Abuja, abducting a father and his six girls with one girl reportedly died in captivity.

The former Minister had made the announcement, seeking a donation to pay the N60 million ransom via his x social media handle for their rescue. According to Pantami, a friend of his has offered to pay N50 million ransom to the kidnappers to secure the release of the five remaining sisters, who were abducted in Abuja.

“It might appear a good and humanitarian gesture. For us as a group, it will no doubt further encourage kidnapping business in the country “emphasized.

Reacting to the issue of payment of ransom by the Minister, Coalition for Peace and National Unity in a press statement made available to journalists in Kaduna
said, “We have repeatedly advised and kicked against payment of ransom to criminals under any guise because it is counter-productive to fight against banditry.”

While recalling that Nigeria security agencies have also discouraged payment of ransom to kidnappers, the group reminded that “The Nigerian Senate had in 2022 passed a bill imposing jail terms of at least 15 years for paying a ransom to free someone who has been kidnapped, and made the crime of abduction punishable by death in cases where victims die.

The group in the statement signed by the Secretary-General, Dr. Abdullahi Musa Ringim queried Pantami’s silence on heightened insecurity challenges under the Buhari administration and asked, “Where was Pantami’s Voice, when under Former President Buhari, when half of Katsina State was under attack by bandits, 80 percent of Zamfara State was occupied by terrorists, Kaduna killings were done almost on daily basis in southern Kaduna with Bandits unleashing terror on innocent citizens in Niger state and at burning-Gwari Local Government area of Kaduna State.

“We also ask what happened to his passion to rescue kidnapped victims, When 279 female students of GGSS, Jangebe were kidnapped during a raid by armed bandits on 26 February 2021; when 11 students of FGC, Yauri were kidnapped, when bandits invaded the school on 17th June 2021, Several students of Bethel Baptist School Kaduna, Greenfield University, Kaduna, Students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna were kidnapped?

As measures to deter other persons from hurried payment of ransom to bandits, the coalition called on security agencies to invite Pantami for investigation for violating the law.

According to the group, hundreds of Nigerians are in kidnappers’ dens because the immediate past government allowed kidnapping to become a thriving enterprise.

However, the group which urged security agencies to adopt proactive measures to fight against all forms of criminalities across the country, especially banditry and Insurgency, posited “Even though there still insecurity challenges, there are relative and significant improvements on security issues, especially in northern Nigeria.

“At this juncture, and from our comparative analysis as well as records obtained by our research unit, we are left with no option than to commend the Federal government for efforts taken so far to tackle prolonged security challenges in the country with the last eight months of Tinubu’s administration. “It stated.

Meanwhile, it advised the president to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to eliminating poverty, terrorism, and all forms of criminality nationwide and intensify efforts to implement tangible measures that will alleviate the hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidies and the unification of exchange rates.