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Crowdfunding: FCT/ Defence Minister Raise Security Concerns Over Public Contributions To Pay For Ransom Of Any Kidnapped Victims

The Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, cautioned the public against the practice of paying ransom to bandits and kidnappers, according to him on the contrary, it encourages the scourge.

This was as the federal government, has warned against crowdfunding in support of ransom payment to kidnappers by relatives of victims, saying there was an extant law against it.

the FCT, Minister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, also commenced confidence-building visits to area councils in the territory, declaring that security agencies would, henceforth, make it hot for bandits. He visited Bwari town, the headquarters of Bwari Area Council, held a town hall meeting with the residents, traditional rulers, security, defence and intelligence personnel in the area and other stakeholders. At the event, Wike declared that enough was enough and that informants working for the bandits would not be able to sleep among decent residents.

He said Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda will want to face security issues squarely.
“It is no longer going to be business as usual. My coming here today is to show you that we are serious. To all those bandits, enough is enough. We will do everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again.

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“Everything has to be done to protect lives and property. Without protection of lives and property, we have no business in government. My coming here today is to assure you that we are very serious.

”That is why just this morning (yesterday), Mr. President has given me approval to provide everything required to the security agencies. And just like what Etsu-Bwari and Sarkin-Bwari said, it is not by merely talking, we are serious.

“Security agencies will not have any reason to say they are not equipped; we will provide everything required. I know how big Bwari is, I know you have boundaries with three states – Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa.
”I know because these bandits were chased away from the Northeast, so they are making their way here, we will make it hot for them.”

“In the next few days, you will see action from the security agencies. There could be informants, even here within this meeting hall. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care. I am the minister of FCT. You won’t sleep again. Informants, you won’t sleep again.

“This message is not just for Bwari but to all the area councils. From time to time, we will come here and interface with you. We won’t sit down in the city,” Wike said.

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He advised the public against resorting to crowdfunding in a bid to raise funds for ransom, saying it helped terrorists to launch more attacks.

He stated further: “We have to stop this idea of going to radio to say we are going to raise money. When you do that, these bandits are happy that people are concerned and raising money. I know you are concerned that your loved ones are with kidnappers but we must do everything to discourage them.”

Earlier in his remarks, chairman of Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, recalled that in the week leading to last Christmas, kidnappers violently attacked the peaceful agrarian community of Tokulo, seriously injuring several residents and abducting some of the villagers.

“This was followed by another attack on the border community of Kuduru where two people were killed and the kidnappers also abducted some residents.

“Before the end of December 2023, kidnappers also invaded Zuma village, a suburb of Bwari town, killing two persons and abducting some others.

“Sadly again, within the first few days of the new year, kidnappers attacked Dutse-Sagwari, a community along Dutse -Bwari expressway. Several people were also abducted during this attack.

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”This sad incident was closely followed by another attack on Padan-Gwari Village, where kidnappers abducted some villagers, too. And most recently, kidnappers launched another ferocious attack on Kawu Village, during which they injured several people and kidnapped some.”

Meanwhile the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, gave the warning while fielding questions from reporters after the maiden 2024 Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided by President Bola Tinubu at State House, Abuja.  But Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, declared yesterday that the security forces would be decisive in their renewed bid to contain kidnappers and armed bandits running amok in the nation’s capital.

Egbetokun made the declaration in Abuja during the launch of a special intervention unit of the Nigeria Police to tackle the menace of kidnappers, bandits, and other criminal elements, especially in the FCT where  was Wike told to resign immediately as cases of kidnappings and terror attacks escalate in Abuja As part of efforts to stem the tide of insecurity, the Department of Development Control of FCT Administration said it had begun to compile a list of all shanties and informal settlements in Abuja for verification purposes.

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