By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja, Dec. 15, 2020 Alhaji Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has called for sanction against traditional and community leaders where kidnappings and banditry occur to serve as deterrent to others.
He made the call in a statement dedicated to the abducted 300 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara in Katsina State.
Lukman said that security personnel deployed to the areas must also face severe sanction for negligence, describing the abduction as painful and shameful.
“Such national security embarrassment must be brought to an end,” he said.
Lukman, however, prayed that God will protect and return the students safely to their parents.
“The situation requires thorough introspection by not just security agencies, but also imposition of severe sanction against security personnel, traditional and community leaders where kidnappings, banditry and all crimes consuming lives of innocent Nigerians are taking place.
“Every police officer, security personnel, traditional and community leader, located within Kankara or in routes where the school children would have passed should be arrested and tried.
“Similarly, in everywhere where you have such incidence, security agents, traditional and community leaders should be the first line suspects.
“They should be made to prove their innocence by producing the culprits, failing which, they should be convicted,” he said.
He added that corporal punishment covering life and death sentences should be melted to offenders, depending on the extent of the problem.
He said that kidnapping and insurgence were worse than armed robbery, adding that governors and lawmakers in the states should act expeditiously on the matter.
He noted that to be able to succeed, the capacity of states to enforce laws must be strengthened especially in the area of state police.
“As part of the strategy of strengthening law enforcement, questions of responding to challenges of criminal justice system in our states must be treated with required urgency.
“As our states are taking all of these urgent steps, we must as a party, take the recommendations contained in the Malam Nasir El-Rufai Committee on True Federalism very seriously.
“There is no reason why after two years, the report is yet to get to the National Assembly,” he said.
Lukman added that more than any moment in the life of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration at federal level, this was the time for President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate his no nonsense toga.
“He should move to arrest all security personnel, traditional and religious leaders who are suspected to be accomplices in the current wave of kidnappings, murder of Nigerians and all the organised crimes taking place in the country.
“This will make Nigerians to strengthen their support for our government to bring to an end this atrocious activity,” he said.
Lukman added that there was however, need to build the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to address the country’s current security challenges.
According to him, issues of capacity with reference to equipment, training, intelligence gathering, moral and others, are also strong factors which needed to be immediately addressed.
Lukman noted that aside from the police, other security agencies were faced with similar challenges.