Armed ViolenceNews

Experts Highlight Role Of Arms Proliferation In Kidnapping

A webinar organised by the Abuja Hub of the Global Shapers brought together experts and professionals to discuss security and the kidnapping menace in Nigeria.

Experts and stakeholders on Tuesday, May 18 discussed the multidimensional angles and dynamics behind Nigeria’s kidnapping crises during a virtual dialogue series on security challenges in the country. 

The webinar which was hosted  by the Abuja Hub of the Global Shapers community, had in attendance a representative of the military intelligence agency, the country director of Global Rights Nigeria, and a retired officer of the domestic intelligence agency. 

The conversation was facilitated and moderated by Elmer Aluge, the Hub’s Policy and Advocacy focal person, and Fola Aina, a security security analyst and development expert. 

Aminu Abubakar Garba,  a Brig-Gen who represented the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief at the discussion highlighted the impacts of cross border arms proliferation on kidnapping. 

He lamented that “the ability to easily carry firearms has enabled kidnapping.”

Garba, who is currently the Coordinator of the Joint Intelligence Fusion Centre at the DIA also spoke on the use of non-kinetic approaches as part of security responses to the security challenge. “We make sure to build a solid network of informants who help in providing intelligence,” he said. 

On his part, Dennis Amachree, a retired officer of the State Security Services elaborated on the trajectory of kidnapping from the Niger Delta to the current situation and lack of countermeasures.

He added that  “Kidnapping is a low-risk and high-reward venture.”

Babajide Ogunsanwo, a socio-economic and  political analyst noted that the reward for kidnapping is now higher than the risk, saying that, “reward minus risk is equal to incentive.”

Ogunsanwo also spoke on the need to consider factors like unemployment and poverty.

The use of technology for curbing and responding to security threats was an issue that was raised by Tolu Ogunlesi, a Special Assistant to the President on New Media.  A similar remark was also made by Amachree on the need to leverage technology in tackling the menace. 

Biodun Baiyewu, the Executive Director of Global Rights, Nigeria also spoke on the kidnapping and security situation in the country as well as the problem of impunity, the trust deficit between government and citizens. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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