The Oasis Reporters
April 22, 2019
There is now hope that the freely and gleefully roaming bandits in Nigeria’s wild bushes popping out to kidnap Nigerians to demand huge ransoms may be on their way to meeting their Waterloo with the killing of Miss Faye Mooney, a British citizen.
Questions being asked include whether Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom would take it lying low.
When some American citizens were attacked by Boko Haram Islamist insurgents a few years ago, it was noticeably hushed up thereby making it difficult for American based but Nigerian born human rights lawyer, Emma Ogebe to get Boko Haram tagged a Foreign Terrorist Group. Now it may be a different ball game altogether with Theresa May.
According to a New Telegraph report, kidnappers who abducted three persons from Kajuru castle, a holiday resort in Kaduna State at the weekend have demanded N60 million naira as ransom for the release of their victims.
Security sources in Kajuru said the kidnappers made the demand on Sunday evening through a staff of the castle.
It was gathered that the attackers did not come into the castle to attack the visitors but climbed a rock near the castle and started shooting into the property.
He also said the two mobile policemen on security duty at the castle, fired back at the hoodlums who were shooting sporadically into the complex.
It would be recalled that the abductors killed two people, including an expatriate, Miss Faye Mooney, a Briton, said to be a staff of Mercy Corps Nigeria.
The source explained that worried by the exchange of gunfire the deceased Mooney and her colleague who were accommodated in rooms in one of the towers, got terrified and attempted to escape and in the process, they were hit by bullets on the staircase.
The source said, “The bandits climbed up the rock by the gate. When they started shooting, the two mobile police guarding the place responded, so they knew there were armed policemen inside and they couldn’t come in.
“The two people they killed were already tensed in their rooms in one of the towers. They were panicking and they rushed out of their rooms and started running down the stairs.
“The stairs are opened, so as they were running down the staircase, the bandits saw them and shot them. Their corpses were deposited at the St. Gerald Catholic Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna.”
The source also narrated that five people were abducted initially – four staff of the castle and a bus driver who brought some guests into the resort.
“These people were somewhere outside the gate taking tea.
“But two of the staff managed to escape and the bandits went with three people – two staff of the castle and the bus driver,” he said.
Asked for latest developments on the kidnapping, Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna state police command said an investigation is ongoing and a manhunt is on for the attackers.
From the report by New Telegraph, it counters an earlier police report that they had no notification that some tourists were around and that the convention was for the security organization to be informed so as to ensure that security was adequately provided. Obviously, there were two mobile police men on security
duty at the Castle. If they felt overwhelmed, did they radio for an immediate backup ? What manner of weapons were they carrying?
Was there a hot pursuit of the kidnappers? Did they leave any trail?
Daily reports of kidnappings and ransom demands from all over the country, show that the payment of ransom demands amounting to several millions is being used to buy more sophisticated weaponry and the Nigerian nation has been helpless in articulating a superior position to counter this national threat.
Only recently, a prominent Ibadan based legal practitioner, Barrister Musibau Adetunbi was kidnapped in Iwaraja, Osun state while on his way to Akure alongside his driver by some unknown gunmen
on their way to Court of Appeal in Akure, the Ondo state capital. A friend around him told a reporter in confidence that the kidnappers looked very foreign and spoke a language that sounded like a Nigerian language with a foreign accent suspected to be from a French speaking West African nation, but that a few of them spoke English and seemed to know Ibadan well. They were said to have collected 10 million naira as ransom, according to the information he gathered.
Kidnappers of elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae equally pointed in the same direction as well as testimonies of hundreds of Nigerians who have passed through the harrowing ordeal of being kidnapped, both in the north and south of the country.
The demand of huge ransoms running into millions of naira by these foreign marauders has built up a vast kidnap economy on the back of sophisticated and dangerous weaponry. This poses a huge threat to the stability of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. It’s gradual spread all over West Africa has already led to the collapse of the government in Mali which recently resigned over it’s inability to curb the rising insecurity by the same identified bandits ubiquitously found everywhere like roaming nomads. The Nigerian security has found itself in an unenviable position as the bandits are hardly ever arrested or prosecuted for whatever reason. Despite the information given to the police in the case of the Ibadan based lawyer, ransom was still paid.
When some Nigerian youths travelled to the United Arab Emirates to carry out a burglary on a Bureau de Change recently, little did they know that ubiquitous CCTV cameras were recording the footage and they were being watched real time.
CCTV footage equally assisted the police in Northern Ireland to identify and pick out the youths that shot and killed journalist Lyra McKee promptly.
In countries like Cyprus, Sweden, just to name a few, no one overspeeds without a booking ticket awaiting the driver at home.
In other words, they know you, wherever you go.
But Nigeria appropriates a billion dollars to fight Boko Haram insurgency, yet progress seems slow due to a seeming lack of necessary equipment.
Under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, Nigeria launched the NIGCOMSAT ® satellite into orbit. Nobody knows if Nigerian computer engineers have a chance to reconfigure it and provide radar coverage to see where the Fulani cattle rustlers and the ‘strike and melt’ into the bush kidnappers are as to arrest and dissuade them from their nefarious activities.
So what exactly can the satellite do, or not do through its monitors in the control room?
This time hopefully the British Prime Minister Theresa May, may respond and act, because it is a nation that takes the life of its citizenry very seriously. They may not take the death of a promising young British lady lying low, upon the insulting temerity of a ransom demand in their former colony.
The lethargy and notorious inaction is insufferable. Perhaps this may goad Nigeria into action to save tourism and save the economy as well as taking farmers back to their peaceful vocation, interrupted by insurgency.