How prominent citizens become lords of criminals
OpenLife Nigeria reports that in the search for solutions to the unending crimes and banditry in Nigeria, different assertions have been made and unveiled by various shades of analysts as probable reasons for the festering insurgency.
Over the years, Nigeria has been under heavy attacks by the combined forces of Boko Haram, Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP, Kidnappers, armed robbers etc.
According to the United Nations, UN, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 30,000 people have been killed and nearly 3 million displaced in a decade of Boko Haram’s terror activities in Nigeria.
Boko Haram launched the bloody insurgency in 2009 in northeastern Nigeria but later spread its atrocities to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a multi national military response.
Besides, there have been disturbing instances of school children’s kidnap. It began with the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok Secondary School by Boko Haram Islamist militants in Borno state.
Since then, more armed groups have resorted to mass abduction of students, the latest being the kidnapping of nearly 300 students from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state.
Before then, teachers and students were abducted from a school in Kagara, Niger state on 17 February.
Indeed, since December 2020, more than 600 students have been abducted from schools in north-west Nigeria, highlighting a worrying development in the country’s kidnap-for-ransom crisis.
Reacting during an NTA interview, Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, who speaks for the Police submitted that until there is change of attitudes towards fraudulent wealth accumulation, it would be difficult for the country to get rid of insurgency.
He explained that individuals with criminal backgrounds who have risen to prominence are being hero worshipped by Nigerians, a development that sends wrong signals to the emerging generation that the best way to become a respected individual in the society is to be criminally inclined.
Mba stressed further that younger ones who are involved in criminal activities are the agents of politicians who, in several ways, nurture their criminal tendencies for election prosecution.
He explained that for politicians who arm youths with dangerous weapons for the purpose of rigging elections, criminal activities would have been at low rate.
In all of this however, Mba called on citizens to de emphasize rich-quick tendencies through illegitimate means.
“Don’t hero worship those who attained prominence in the society with criminal records,” he advised.
He pointed out that these factors that drive criminal activities are squarely outside the control of security agents.