Nigerian authorities must ensure an end to the incessant abduction of students and children, and work towards bringing an end to kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism.
The Building Blocks for Peace Foundation (BBFORPEACE) welcomes the release of the kidnapped students at Kagara, Niger State, and Jangebe of Zamfara State. While we condemn these incessant abductions, the release of these children is a relief, not just for their families, but also for Nigerians. These continuous cases of abduction and kidnapping, third in the last three months, represent serial violence on the psyche of young Nigerians, especially school children, who are now being traumatized and distracted from the lifelong duty of learning and education.
We, therefore, call on the Nigerian authorities, including the federal and state governments, to take proactive measures in ensuring the safety of the lives of Nigerians. We call on the Nigerian government to adequately fund security agencies and expand the capacity of the intelligence infrastructure for proactive and timely detection of these crimes.
While we welcome the various positive engagements to secure the release of kidnapped Nigerians, including negotiations, we strongly discourage the trend of incentivizing criminality and mobilising support, including financial, logistic, and human resources, for the bandits. This is also coming on the heels of poor funding of social services, like education, healthcare, and infrastructure that can guarantee better lives and decent jobs for young Nigerians, and discourage them from criminality and violence.
Finally, we call on the government to address the underlying causes of these crimes. We believe that socio-economic drivers such as lack of jobs, poor infrastructure, climate change, disorganised land tenure system, poverty, and widening inequality are important factors driving these social menaces. These, coupled with impunity in governance, and failure to ensure justice for Nigerians, have led to the spiraling of these social crimes, and their mutations into various forms.
For us, at BBFORPEACE, we will continue, along with other partners, to contribute our expertise and resources in promoting all efforts at ensuring a peaceful Nigeria that guarantee better lives and justice for all.