Ogun Monarch, Oba Eselu Writes Senate President On The Proposed Bill On Criminalization Of Ransom Payment
A monarch in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State has expressed his thoughts on the proposed Bill on Criminalization of Payment of Ransom in the country, describing the Bill that is proposing a 15-year jail term for payers of ransom to kidnappers as a misplaced priority.
To this end, the first monarch, Oba (Dr.) Ebenezer Akintunde AKINYEMI, JP, FCIMN (Akaosu I), the Eselu of Iselu Kingdom explained that what “If families of kidnapped persons cannot pay ransom due to the proposed Bill and government too does not have an effective security architecture to rescue the victims, it then means that the victims of kidnapping will be in the kidnappers’ dens till eternity.”
Oba Ebenezer disclosed this in a letter issued to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Commending him for his great and developmental strides from the first day of his assumption office as the Senate President and Chairman of the 9th National Assembly till date.
According to the letter “Your Excellency’s great and developmental strides from the first day of your assumption office as the Senate President & Chairman of the 9th National Assembly till date have continued to prove that you are indeed a Nigerian Senator with a vast legislative experience;
Without mincing words, I have observed and concluded that these great qualities of Your Excellency have been having positive impacts on the governance of our dear country; i am assuring Your Excellency of my unalloyed support for your good works at the National Assembly of Nigeria.”
“Having said that, I want to inform Your Excellency that I am averse/opposed to the Bill on Criminalization of Ransom Payment that is now being debated upon in the Hallowed Chamber of the Senate.”
“With all sense of honesty, I totally condemn the menace of kidnapping that has now ravaged our dear country, Nigeria. As a patrotic citizen, I will always support any steps that governments at all levels take with the view to ridding our country off all manners of criminalities, including the crime of kidnapping that is sadly gaining more currency/popularity in our country these days.”
“However, I feel the Bill that is proposing a 15-year jail term for payers of ransom to kidnappers is a misplaced priority, unpopular and needless at this precious time because governments at all levels have failed in their responsibility to protect the lives and property of Nigerian citizens due mainly to the poor security architecture in the entire country.”
“If families of kidnapped persons cannot pay ransom due to the proposed Bill and government too does not have an effective security architecture to rescue the victims, it then means that the victims of kidnapping will be in the kidnappers’ dens till eternity.”
“Lives of some of them may even be in danger in the hands of their abductors. Will that not amount to a double jeopardy for the victims’ families? I am sure the children of the proponents of the Bill are not in this unsecure country.”
“To me, the first thing we should do is to develop a security strategy that will make the Nigeria Police Force and other Security Forces possess the competence and capacity to aggressively confront the crime of kidnapping in Nigeria. If we want the Bill to be popular, the Federal Government should first rescue Leah Sharibu and other hundreds of innocent Nigerians who are still being held in kidnappers’ dens in all the nooks and crannies of our country, Nigeria.”
In my opinion, the Federal Government should take the following steps before passing and implementing this type of Bill:
Put in place an effective Nigeria Police Rescue Team.
Boost the morale of the men of the Nigeria Police Force and other Security agencies in the country to enable them put in all their best.
3. Insure the lives of the men of the Nigeria Police Force so as to give confidence to them and their families.
4. Provide all the necessary facilities/amenities to make all the security personnel in Nigeria function well.”
“Senate President Sir, I believe in this Bill, but let the Federal Government put in place a formidable and effective Police Rescue Team solely for tackling kidnapping activities and give them a marching order to first rescue all innocent Nigerians in kifnappers’ dens before implementing the Bill that cannot guarantee the safety of kidnapped persons and their families.”, He concluded.