Nigeria: “Former DSS Director and Kidnap Victim, Mike Ejiofor, Unveils Insights on Kidnapping Surge in Nigeria, Advocates Comprehensive Government Action”

Nigeria: “Former DSS Director and Kidnap Victim, Mike Ejiofor, Unveils Insights on Kidnapping Surge in Nigeria, Advocates Comprehensive Government Action”

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In a comprehensive interview, former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Mike Ejiofor, sheds light on the alarming rise of kidnapping in Nigeria and provides insights into both short-term and long-term measures the government can adopt to address the escalating security challenge. Ejiofor, who himself fell victim to kidnapping, reveals the economic factors contributing to the surge in criminal activities and shares his views on the efficacy of government actions.

Addressing concerns about the perceived lack of control over insecurity, Ejiofor emphasizes the need for adequate resource deployment to tackle the issue. He stresses the importance of overseeing budget allocations to the security sub-sector and preventing misappropriation of funds by security agency leadership. Ejiofor advocates for responsible leadership, urging officials to prioritize public welfare over luxurious lifestyles.

Highlighting the economic dimension of kidnapping, Ejiofor contends that the current hardships faced by citizens contribute to the criminalization of the activity. Economic struggles, he suggests, drive individuals to seek quick financial gains through ransom payments, making it a lucrative option for criminals.

Discussing recent incidents involving the targeted killing of traditional rulers and schoolchildren, Ejiofor expresses concern about the impact on the traditional institution and calls for swift government action. He underscores the importance of vigilance in schools and among traditional rulers, emphasizing security measures to counter the tactics employed by kidnappers.

Addressing the issue of arms proliferation, Ejiofor suggests regulating and supervising private guards and vigilantes to carry arms under police oversight. He proposes a cautious approach to liberalizing arms, emphasizing the need for supervision to prevent abuse.

On the contentious topic of ransom payment, Ejiofor’s perspective shifts after becoming a victim himself. He acknowledges the instinctive urge to pay ransom for the release of loved ones and recognizes the difficulty of resisting such demands. While the government discourages ransom payments, Ejiofor highlights the complex dynamics faced by victims’ families.

In considering deterrents for kidnappers, Ejiofor dismisses the effectiveness of capital punishment, instead advocating for judicial reforms to expedite trials and establish special tribunals for kidnapping cases. He stresses the importance of trying and convicting offenders within a specified timeframe.

Offering a holistic approach to the crisis, Ejiofor recommends short-term measures, such as mobilizing the police and withdrawing security personnel from VIPs, alongside long-term solutions like creating state police and empowering vigilante groups with regulated firearms. He emphasizes the collaboration of security forces and public engagement in providing crucial information.

As the interview concludes, it reflects the urgency of addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by kidnapping, underscoring the need for a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to ensure the safety and security of citizens.

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