The upsurge in kidnapping in the country is a source of worry to the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) expressing concern warning that the menace would affect the nation’s image negatively and also scare away potential investors.
The Guild in a communiqué at the end of its fourth quarterly Standing Committee Meeting on Dec. 2 in Yola signed by the guild’s president and secretary, Ms Funke Egbemode, and Victoria Ibanga, respectively, noted that foreign investors were needed now as their contribution was “crucial to revamping the country’s ailing economy’’.
It said that attracting foreign direct investment was a critical factor in reflating the nation’s sagging economy but added that this was being “gravely frustrated by the rising tide of kidnapping’’.
The guild said that no investor would stake his or her investment in an insecure environment.
It cited some recent cases of abduction as those of the wife of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Margaret Emefiele, a former Minister, Bagudu Hirse, and a senior official of the NNPC, Rev. Fr. John Adeyi.
Others, the Guild said, were some students and teachers in Lagos State, a female journalist in Benue, Iyuadoo Tor-Agbidye, among other abductions that had taken place, saying that the incident was becoming “almost a daily occurrence’’.
“In the light of these occurrences, the Guild urges the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, rejig its security apparatus and develop a pro-active security strategy that will checkmate the menace.
“It is equally desirable for the government to urgently evolve anti-kidnapping measures and legislation, in order to combat the current wave of crimes and criminality in Nigeria. “The Guild commends the initiatives of some State governments in setting up special squads with proven records of trailing, tracking and arresting kidnappers and, therefore, urges other States to take a cue from these success stories.
“The Guild also recommends the strengthening of the justice system to engender speedy prosecution of kidnap suspects to serve as a deterrent to other criminally-minded persons.
“In the same vein, the Guild urges security agencies to be alive to their responsibility of providing adequate security to the citizens by weeding out from among them the bad elements who have the propensity to aid and abet criminals,’’ it said.
The Guild also urged the government to do the needful by arresting the rising wave of crimes and criminality to ease the current pressure on the citizens and put the nation back on the path of peace.