Ransom payment now fueling banditry, kidnapping, northern elders confirm

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A group, operating under the aegis of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, has again decried what they termed as total collapse of security in the northern region.

According to the Group, it is now established that insecurity has gone out of control and something urgent needed to be done to arrest the ugly trend.

They lamented that since the beginning of the year 2021, the level of killing of both security personnel and civilians have been unprecedented.

They also blamed the media for what they termed “under-reportage of the situation”.

They equally lashed out on those entrusted with maintaining security in the region for allegedly not giving President Muhammadu Buhari the necessary briefings and true state of the security situation in the region, saying such act has further aggravated the situation in the entire north.

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According to a statement by the national coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, they were fully in support of President Buhari’s directive that no ransom be paid to abductors or negotiation be engaged with bandits again, just as they warned against amnesty for terrorists.

According to the elders, ransom and negotiation were two major ingredients fueling abductions and other nefarious activities of bandits and terrorists in the country.

“We write to decry the rising state of insecurity in the North East in particular and Northern Nigeria at large and the deliberate attempts by some very highly placed government officials to use some unpatriotic online media to down play the true situation on ground. This is unpatriotic and unacceptable to us.

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“We wish to draw the attention of these unpatriotic elements to the fact that engaging in this unwholesome act and at the same time expecting different result is impossible,”the group said in the statement.

The elders vowed never to be silent in the face of the worsening insecurity in their region, given that farmers were not going to their farms again besides the inability of residents to sleep with their eyes closed like in the past.

They tasked security chiefs to sit up and take necessary steps to end the security challenges and not merely paying lip service.

“As a people trusted with security by Mr President, they should be patriotic to tell him the true situation of security in the North East in particular and Northern Nigeria as a whole at all time, rather than desperately trying to cover up the situation to the detriment of human lives and property,”they stated.

According to the group,”We observed that the insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states is getting worse by the day. As a matter of fact, it has degenerated in last one month to a point of very serious concern.”

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“We are sure that this has been so because Mr President is not getting the correct briefings from those he entrusted with security.

“It is regrettable that many people are being killed on a daily basis in the region just as tens of soldiers are being killed and unreported especially in the North East.

“The ugly security development has made farmers not to go to the farm anymore. We feel Mr President should know this,”it added.

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The elders insisted that :”Those trusted with security and welfare of our people must be sincere in briefing Mr President so that he can give them the needed support and logistics to crush the worrisome situation once and for all.”

“We are worried hence the need to speak out especially given that the affected area is our home base. We live here with our children and parents.

” It’s so disheartening to see our old parents who should be resting in their old age running helter skelter everyday for safety while some people sit in the comfort of their air conditioned cars and offices making money from our misfortunes. This is highly unacceptable and we will not be silent in calling a spade a spade.The world must know that our people are suffering,”the statement added.

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