Abduction epidemic: Anti-kidnapping protest to be held in Abuja today; 10 suspects arrested

Abduction epidemic: Anti-kidnapping protest to be held in Abuja today; 10 suspects arrested

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Today in Abuja, members of the Middle-Belt Youth Forum are set to protest against the increasing cases of kidnapping in the region and the overall insecurity in parts of the country. This protest comes after the military arrested 10 suspected bandits.

Brent Kane, the President of the forum, revealed that the demonstrators will peacefully march to the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, demanding the classification of kidnappers and bandits as terrorists. They are also urging an end to the killings and abductions occurring nationwide.

The planned protest follows the abduction of 19 individuals by bandits from the Sagwari Estate Layout in Dutsen-Alhaji area in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory. The victims have spent a week in captivity, with the kidnappers demanding a N700 million ransom for nine of them.

The tragic incident included the killing of four hostages, including a 400-level student of Biological Science at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, and 13-year-old Folashade Ariyo.

The Middle-Belt Youth Forum, in collaboration with Africa’s Morning Centre for Public Policy and Good Governance, aims to press the federal government to declare these acts of kidnapping and destruction as terrorism under Nigeria’s Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022.

Chima Christian, the Executive Director of Africa’s Morning Centre, emphasized the need to address the kidnappers as terrorists, and the group intends to take the protest to the Attorney-General’s office to voice their concerns and demand an end to the menace.

In a related development, a hotel barman abducted from the Sagwari Estate Layout was reportedly killed by his abductors. The community is taking measures to enhance security, including erecting a fence to restrict access. Meanwhile, security forces have arrested 10 suspected bandits in the Federal Capital Territory, indicating an escalated effort to combat criminal activities.

Additionally, political leaders, including President Bola Tinubu, are taking action to address the security challenges. Tinubu convened an emergency meeting with service chiefs, emphasizing the determination to eliminate those fueling insecurity in the country. The South-South governors are also meeting to discuss security concerns, highlighting the widespread impact of the security crisis.

In response to the rising insecurity, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered an intensified effort to combat insurgents across the country, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory. The police are focusing on up-scaled security strategies to decimate kidnappers and restore normalcy.

Residents in affected areas express concerns about safety, prompting increased demand for private security guards. Some estates are implementing additional security measures, including restricted access and enhanced security checks on visitors. As the government and security agencies work to address the challenges, residents and estate managers are grappling with the immediate need for comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of lives and property.

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