Abductions: Wike Warns FCT Residents Against Ransom Payments To Kidnappers

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, yesterday cautioned the public against the practice of paying ransom to bandits and kidnappers, warning that such actions will encourage the scourge.

The warning against ransom payment followed reports that Nigerians had raised over N50 million through crowdfunding to pay the ransom for the release of five daughters of Abuja resident Mansoor Al-Kadriya.

Six siblings had been abducted from their father’s house in Bwari Council, Abuja, on December 26, 2023, alongside their father.

Although their father was later released to go and raise the ransom, the kidnappers killed one of his daughters, Nabeeha, last Friday for failing to raise the said ransom, leaving five in captivity.

Wike made the plea yesterday at a town hall meeting on insecurity held at Bwari Area Council.

The meeting was attended by heads of security agencies in the territory, led by FCT Commissioner of Police, Garba Haruna; the Sarkin-Bwari, Alhaji Awwal Musa Ijakoro; and Chairman of Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya.

Gabaya said the council was planning to mobilise 50 hunters and 50 vigilantes into a joint security task force and support them with logistics to complement the efforts of the security agencies in protecting the 90 villages and 16 districts that constitute Bwari Council.

Wike said: “We have to stop this idea of going to the radio to say we are ready to raise money. When you do that, those criminals are happy. They are happy when the people that are concerned, you people, want to raise money.

“No. I know it is painful that your wife, your children, and your husband have been kidnapped. All we want is to stop it, not to encourage it.

“Journalists should also help us. We need the support of everybody. The kind of news you write also will encourage them.”

He promised to go on hot pursuit of bandits, constituting a nuisance for the residents of FCT and making life miserable for them.

He stated, “It is no longer going to be business as usual. Everything has to be done to protect lives and property. Without protection of lives and property, then we have no business in government.

“My coming here today is to assure you that we are very serious. All those criminals, bandits, enough is enough! We will do everything in our power to make sure that we will not allow this to happen again.”

The minister said he got the president’s approval yesterday morning to provide all the logistics required to support the security agencies.

He said the security agencies would no longer give any excuse of being underequipped, as they would be provided with all necessary logistics.

The minister also condemned the activities of terrorists and kidnappers wreaking havoc across the country and noted that kidnapping in the FCT was high within the area councils.

He said, “We are aware that Mr. President called us and all the service chiefs to discuss this issue. So, concerted efforts are being made by security agencies to stop it immediately.

“These kidnappings happen around the suburbs, around locations that are bordering Kaduna and Niger. And this is as a result of the current operations going on in the North-west and some parts of North-central.

“The bandits are fleeing, and they are getting shelters around these areas, and the security agencies are working very hard to push them out, block the movement and finish this thing once and for all.

“The president has given us the marching order and all the support that we need and what the security agencies need to end this thing.”

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