The Senate has summoned the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to appear before it and brief lawmakers on the state of kidnapping and way out of it.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who moved the motion that the IGP should be summoned, said his explanation would help the Senate understand the current state of affairs.
The IGP is expected to appear next week to brief lawmakers at plenary, but no specific date has been given.
The invitation came against the backdrop that over 3,000 Nigerians were currently being held by kidnappers in Zamfara and other states in the north.
In a motion sponsored by Shehu Sani and 108 lawmakers, the Senate said the north has become a killing field, where bandits and other criminals elements hold sway.
Kabiru Marafa revealed that businesses and other sources of livelihood, including farming, have collapsed in northern states.
Marafa warned that there might be no Zamfara State in the next two years if insecurity in the region was not checked. He said the only way out is to engage youths who are predominantly involved in banditry.
“We can’t employ enough security people to man every community in the country. Where are we going to? With due respect to my colleagues, with the kind of irresponsible leadership we have seen in states, we cannot solve this problem.”
Sani, in his lead debate, said the fact that no one has been brought to book by government, despite the repeated attacks, has emboldened the bandits to carry out more heinous crimes.
“In recent times, the attacks on individuals, houses and villages have become one too many and there is no single person that has been brought to book as a result of the wanton killings and the so much emphasised efforts at combating the crime is not yielding fruitful results.
“We are worried by the fact that perpetrators of these heinous activities tend to be gaining more courage to perpetuate their dastardly acts without fear of confrontation due to their acclaimed superior fire power.
“The unfortunate event of 19th April, 2019, where gunmen raided a resort called Kajuru Resort in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, a Briton, Ms. Faye Mooney and a Nigerian, Mr. Mathew Oguche, were killed and three others abducted has put more fears into Nigerians.
“Ms. Faye Mooney was a humanitarian worker with an NGO, Mercy Corp, who had worked in war torn countries like Iraq and Kosovo helping the needy, the vulnerable and internally displaced persons.
“Recall that earlier in the year, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered senior security chiefs to curb kidnapping in the region when four western tourists, two Americans and two Canadians, were abducted in Kaduna in an ambush in January that left two of their police escorts dead.”
Ekweremadu, in his brief remarks said, kidnapping of foreigners has jacked up the cost of constructing roads in the country, as foreign construction companies now factor in money for payment of ransoms into the cost when negotiating with government.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki said a solution must be preferred on ways out of the repeated attacks.
“When we talk about the way forward, we must be true to ourselves. In discussing this issue, we must be frontal. We need to tell ourselves where this started from. We must not see it from the eyes of political parties or anything sentimental.
“There was a time when we couldn’t even talk to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for over a year. He refused to honour our invitation. We need to be serious whether we want to find a solution or just play to the gallery.
“I am aware that people have now deserted Kaduna expressway because of insecurity. In the past, kidnapping was done in the city. Today, it is different. Nowhere is safe anymore. We need to tell ourselves the truth and find a way out of this mess. We must find a solution.”
Meanwhile, IGP Adamu has blamed the incessant cases of extra-judicial killings, misuse of firearms and other criminal activities by police on work-related stresses and emotional conditions.
He has, therefore, ordered an end to the current 12-hour-two-shifts work structure with immediate effect save for local or national emergency.
The IGP gave the order at the opening of the maiden conference of Heads of Nigeria Police Medical Services at the Force Headqarters, Abuja.
With the new order, it is expected that no police personnel would work more than eight hours in a day just as there would no longer be the traditional two-shift work structure which is the current practice in the
“In consideration of this, I have ordered that with immediate effect, the shift duty structure of the Nigerian police which is a 12-hour-two-shifts system should be reverted to the traditional eight-hour-three-shifts standard.”
This directive is specifically informed by the need to address a major age-long occupational stressor which long hours of duty engenders among personnel in the Nigerian Police.
He, therefore, charged the medical service to complement the order by guaranteeing a healthy work-life balance and ensure that personnel attain the highest possible level of health status to prevent occupational health stress factors which manifest into fatigue, compromised immune system, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, irritability, risk of substance abuse and emotional instability.
Assistant Inspector General of Police(AIG), Obembe Olufumilayo, who is also the the Force Medical Officer, called on the authorities to conduct a through medical, mental and psychological evaluation of candidates during recruitment.
The medical evaluation according to her was necessary to ensure for proper selection of fit and qualified entrants into the service to address the current negative public perception of the force.