ASIS International, a group of Security Professionals has called on the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute any traditional ruler involved in the killings in Zamfara and other parts of the country.
It was reported that the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu recently alleged that some traditional rulers were involved in mining activities that was contributing to the killings in Zamfara.
Mr Kabir Adamu, Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory Chapter of ASIS, made the call while addressing newsmen on the security challenges in the North West and North Central on Sunday in Abuja.
“As security professionals from diverse expertise, it is our view that there are ominous indicators that attest to the emergence of new security threat factor,“ he said.
He said these armed bandits have engaged in wanton kidnap for ransom incidences at rates that portend grave danger for the country.
“The entire country risks been engulfed in crisis of immense proportions if urgent and deliberate measures are not taken,“he said.
He said that the Zamfara State Emergency Management Agency had stated that 227 persons were kidnapped between December 2018 and March 2019.
He said that the bandits had taken the full advantage of the country`s vulnerability to strike at will without been apprehended.
Adamu attributed the successes of the bandits to the porous nature of the country`s borders and the ungoverned spaces that pervaded the region.
He said that the bandits were also taking advantage of the gaps in our national security architecture to thrive in their heinous actvities.
The chairman said that the bandits were also succeeding because of the high return on investment for kidnapping and the seeming lack of political will to address the menace.
He said the seeming lack of capacity by the security forces and the quasi-official sanctioning of payment of ransom has acted as catalysts to escalate the crime.
Adamu said that has been estimated that approximately one N1 billion been paid in ransom within the last few months.
“With these kinds of funds, more weapons will be procured and more youngsters will be lured into the “trade” due to its lucrativeness and perceived “high social status” of those that have made their bones.
“We appreciate and commend the efforts of the security agencies, some of whom have paid the supreme price.
“However, to contend with these emerging threats in the North West and North Central regions in combination with other existing crisis could be quite challenging
“Therefore, there is an urgent need for the federal government to take an all-inclusive view of these threats and vulnerabilities with the aim of quickly outlining immediate, medium and long-term initiatives to curb these security risks and threats,“he said.
He called on the Executive and Legislative arms to adopt measures to check banditry and kidnap for ransom in the country.
Adamu said government should make its position on payment of ransom very clear, which should be in line with global best practice.
He said that government should roll out the practice and adherence to the principles and tenets of community policing nationwide for the Nigeria Police Force.
He said that government should mandate and empower the military to conduct decisive, surgical and comprehensive operations in all vulnerable areas in line with the dictates of human rights.