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IGP wrong! On Why kidnappers rule S’ East

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo has described the unnecessary display of vendetta by aggrieved individuals against their business associates as the reason for the surge in kidnapping and other violent crimes in the South East area. But the IGP was totally wrong and too economical with the truth. Vendettas for roiled emotions over business take more the colouration of assassination than kidnapping.

The police boss disclosed this when a high-powered delegation of Nnewi natives led by Mr. C.I.D. Maduabum, member representing Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives visited him at the Louis Edet Force Headquarters.

The group said it was at the IGP office to protest the rising incidence of kidnapping and violent crimes in their community.

Agreeing that the IGP is wrong in his opinion on why Kidnappers rule South East, Mr Joe Igbokwe said the Police should do their job and stop blaming others for their woes.

However, to solve the problem of kidnapping in the South-East is not simply a question of getting the police to do their work. What have you got to say on the fact that of Nigeria’s estimated 40 million secondary school students, only 10 million are currently enrolled. Obviously, of these 10 million, many are available to be recruited for any anti-social activities.

A former D.G. of the National Board of Technical Education says 90% of the products of our polytechnics are UNEMPLOYED. Millions of our graduates each year roam the streets without jobs.

Many traders and businessmen have got their their source of livelihood ruined from stupid Federal Government policies, Market fire disasters, dilapidated infrastructure- bad roads, endemic power failure etc

On top of these, our politicians, 419ers, drug pushers flaunt their wealth around, taunting the poor…Some of these 419ers later became Senators, and governors in Anambra and other SE States….

Our youths see all these and lo and behold…an easy means of making millions landed on their feet-kidnapping. ..One kidnapper recently boasted that he has up to 60 million naira in his account- NO SWEAT. Settle the police and enjoy your loot, just like our politicians!!!

The fact is our country NEEDS a total socio-economic and political transformation and we all know this. Nigeria is NOT working and does NOT work for MOST of its citizens and the collective angst is deep as this country sinks deeper into a dark hole.

Writing on the same line, Law Mefor from Abuja wrote: IGP was totally wrong and too economical with the truth. Vendettas for roiled emotions over business take more the colouration of assassination than kidnapping. Where this is the case it must be a few isolated cases.

The real reasons why kidnapping rule in the southeast (since the IGP, himself an Igboman is looking in the wrong direction) are:

·      Moneymaking at all costs 

·      lack of sincerity in policing the s/east( the east is actually seen in the police and other security circles as a ‘milky zone’ and officers bribe to be posted there as the surest place they can make it big quickly 

·      lack of responsive and responsible governments in the southeast

·      unemployment 

·      lack of federal presence ( all we have in s/east are police stations/checkpoint s, prisons and one dilapidated chicken incubator in Aba, as federal presence and of cause not forgetting Oko prison. Lack of federal attention has actually  precipitated  unemployment) 

·      wrong value system – sources of wealth are no longer questioned.  (Known criminals have received titles from their towns and knighted in the church) 

·      obscene display and celebration of wealth (e.g. the police give as many as 100 mobile policemen and sirens for protection to known fraudsters and  psychopaths, and the people watch helplessly.) 

·      greed and selfishness – Igbo millionaires would prefer to use jeeps than repair the road leading to their own houses, to say nothing about offering scholarships  and building cortage industry. 

The reasons can on and on and the least of them may be what the IGP is saying. 

Do you kidnap your debtor as a way of getting your money through ransom? In this regard, what is even far more plausible is rivalry in business where weak competitors can instigate such heinous act as a way of slowing the other down. 

In fact, there is an emergency in our land; there is a huge fire burning in our house and nobody seems to be running. 

Be it known that the Police is directly involved in kidnapping or at least aid and abet it. The fact is that the kidnappers wear police and army  uniforms and mount roadblocks and operate in broad daylight under the watch of the NPF. Igbos just have to wake to what is happening or wake up one day to discover they have no place to call their own. 

Of cause, the desertion is already in top gear with wine-carrying talking place in places outside Igbo land. What a  pity! 

Still on this issue Mr Greg Ukaegbu opined that Daniel is right on the reason “Why Kidnapping in the East” and other parts of Nigeria.  Mr Ukaegbu wrote: The lynch pin in my mind is embezzlement of public funds by Nigerian elected Officials and high placed Career Civil Servants.  The gist is simple–Elected Officials and Civil Servants steal the money, and there is very little left to implement programs that will benefit the people.  

The ones that have the money live enviable lifestyles–they live in wonderful palaces, they move in long convoys of expensive cars, they travel to most popular and opulent places on earth, they feast for meals, etc.  

Contrast that with the opposite spectacle of extreme poverty, people living in cardboxes and corrugated iron sheets, barely getting a square meal a day, using the bathroom in the open besides their shacks, etc. and add to all these issues high unemployment, which is made worse by the number of University graduates that tumble into the unemployed ranks every year.

As the unemployed watch the rich live it up, they seek ways to get even.  They become thieves and kidnappers and take out thier frustrations on the poor, instead of directing their anger at those who are responsible for their condition.  Some police officers, soldiers, civil servants etc are also joining the kidnappers to generate extra cash.  

The frustrating thing is that kidnapping will not end any time soon.  If Nigeria were to stop embezzlement today and institute measures that will reverse unemployment and alleviate poverty, it will still take at 10 good years before you see results on the streets.   

Another horrific aspect of this kidnapping thing is that the kidnappers about to hit a windfall as people who prey on vulnerabe populations.  In about 10 years, diasporans will be going in droves like salmon.  You know why.  The kidnappers will just wait like bears do in shallow waters to strip the returnees of their pension and hard earned achievements.  This will happen, and you can bet on it.  

How to stop the kidnapping?  Not pretty at all, because the state would have to catch and kill young adults, that’s how.  The State can’t sustain because of worldwide outcry. Moreover, you can’t find too many people who will be willing to shoot young adults.  Since whacking young kidnappers is too difficult and even wicked to contemplate, it will be easier to attach instant death sentence for embezzling public funds.  That way when a politician steals public funds and is tried and convicted, they are marched to the front of their houses and shot. 

Interestingly, AIA NewsWatch narrated this real life scenario:

An Anambra-based land-fraud syndicate publicly boasting of police connections committed various all of crime including impersonation in their attempt to encroach on Ezekwenna family land at Nnobi town, Anambra State; a matter that was reported in form of petition to Anambra State Commissioner of Police and suspects were arrested and bailed.

Leaders of the syndicate went ahead to place a telephone call to our ED, a member of Ezekwenna family making ransom demand of huge sum of money for ‘peace’, to avoid harassment and possible kidnapping; a  matter that was also reported in form of petition to Anambra State Police Command and only one suspect was arrested and bailed.

Upon oral invitation from the Anambra police, our ED recently traveled to Anambra State, Nigeria to be present when the culprits are charged to court. But instead of charging the culprits to court, some officers of the police command were reportedly asking for huge sum of bribe money in order to do proper investigation and charge the case to court.

Bombshell at Anambra State CID during All-important Case-conference called by Police Boss

Lawyer (s) was/were observed conniving with police and flaunting NBA policy by going to police stations to obstruct police investigation of potential kidnapping cases; no known attempt by police to stop this illegality.

In one of the meetings ordered by head of Anambra State SCID, supposed to be elite division of Anambra State Police Command, attended by victim relatives and witnesses, some leaders of the land-fraud-syndicate (the culprits), the head of Anambra State SCID authoritatively dropped what was regarded as a bombshell, “I have many years experience in this sort of case and we have settled many cases like this one here in this office. Pay this ransom to avoid further extortion and threats. When this ransom is paid, threats will disappear. We have seen cases of threats like this rising and leading to people getting killed”, said the police chief.

“The victim insisted that Anambra Police Command should identify many elements of crimes committed by members of the land-fraud-syndicate and charge the case to court and that drew some unhappy reactions from the police officers and the leader of the land-fraud-syndicate.”

Outraged at these horrible experiences, our ED petitioned Anambra State Governor and The Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo has described the unnecessary display of vendetta by aggrieved individuals against their business associates as the reason for the surge in kidnapping and other violent crimes in the South East area. The police boss disclosed this when a high-powered delegation of Nnewi natives led by Mr. C.I.D. Maduabum, member representing Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives visited him at the Louis Edet Force Headquarters.

The IGP, however, declared that the era of such criminality was over as his men had devised strategies to nip in the bud such nefarious activities.

The group said it was at the IGP office to protest the rising incidence of kidnapping and violent crimes in their community.

Other members of the CID Maduabum led delegation include Secretary General, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Ogochukwu Okeke; Chief Gozie Akudolu, Chief Alphonsus Ume, Chief Charles Onyeka and Dr Emmanuel Afiadigwe.

The IGP said investigations had revealed cases where houseboys gave out information about their masters to criminals who used such to effect the kidnap of the affected individuals.

According to him, there have been other cases where culprits in failed kidnap were found to be business associates of their victims.

Onovo then warned that the game of criminality is now over in the region as the police had evolved strategies to curb the menace.

He called on the community to avail the police with useful information to track down perpetrators of the crime.

Earlier, Maduabum noted that the incidence of kidnapping and violent crimes in the area had reached an intolerable level, urging Onovo to do all within his powers to address the situation.

He lamented the exodus of senior citizens as well as corporate bodies from the community, which is the hub of business activities in the state.

Acknowledging the response of the police to the development so far, Maduabum stressed that there is need for the Force to do more considering the surge in the criminal activity.

Secretary General of the NBA, Nnewi chapter, Mr. Ogochukwu Okeke, lamented that the inhabitants are now living in great fear and anxiety over who the next victim would be.