Battling the Resurgence of kidnappings in Anambra

For a while, it seemed as though incidences of kidnappings had abated in Anambra State as all of a sudden, news of such disappeared. This was attributed to implementation of the  cashless Policy of the Federal Government by many which meant that very few people, if any, had access to physical cash. Others believed the state government was winning the war against criminality.

Whatever the reason, however, the people of the state breathed a sigh of relief as hitherto unsafe areas once more became accessible to many.

But in what appeared to give credence to suggestions that the new found peace was occasioned by the nation’s Cashless Policy, no sooner had the country’s apex bank reverted to the use of old notes alongside the new, as well as the directive to commercial banks to start uploading cash into their Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, while also giving cash across the counter, than kidnappings resurfaced.

Such cases were reported in several parts of the state, with the latest (as of press time) occurring in Umuchu where kidnappers stormed the home of a petrol dealer and whisked him away right before his wife and children and later demanded a ransom of N50m. A police station was said to be not far from there.

It is obvious at this point that the state has come under siege once more.

While we acknowledge that no society is completely free of crime, no matter how advanced, we nevertheless believe that the state government and our security agencies should up their ante  by adopting more proactive measures against this scourge.

We have always advocated for concerted efforts among sister states in the Southeast in the belief that it is the surest way of snuffing out the activities of these miscreants. Our insistence on such collaboration is due to the fact that most of such crimes take place in border areas which offer the criminals easy escape routes.

That being the case, it means that no state government and its security apparatus can do it alone since the activities of these hoodlums have assumed the form of guerilla warfare or hit and run tactics.

In this respect, efforts by any individual state to flush them out will obviously not bear much fruit as those flushed out find safe havens in sister states from where they return soon after.

This is why we insist that only concerted or joint efforts by all the states in combating the menace can work the magic.

And it can only be done better by combing all the known hideouts of the criminal gangs, which, we believe, are well known by the governments and security agencies of the five eastern states. Doing this will be much better than waiting to respond to distress calls.

The Governments of the Southeast Zone should walk their talk by doing the obvious needful and by so doing restore much needed normalcy to the almost beleaguered zone.

We are afraid that failure to decisively deal with this menace will only lead to a degeneration of insecurity to such a level that will be difficult to stop.

This is therefore the right moment to take the bull by the horns and stamp out this menace.