Payment of ransom is now the most profitable source of Internally Generated Revenue for terrorist in the country. This apparently explains the persistent rise in the level of insecurity, killings, abductions and looming civil war in Nigeria.
Since late 2020 till now an unidentified gang of bandits, (boko haram) have reportedly kidnapped over 850 school students cutting across various schools facility in the nation only to be released on the option of ransom.
According to SBM intelligence report, Nigerians paid at least $18.34 million (N7 billion) as ransom to kidnappers in nine years. This was between 2011 to 2020, with the current realities around us, one can only imagine how much have been extorted from the nation in this dishonorable trade.
Currently, the Federal Government, the Kaduna State Government and the Families of the abducted Greenfield University Students are at the mercy of the bandits who are threatening to kill those abducted students if the #100 million requested ransom is not paid.
The situation becomes more worrisome, when the President, commander in chief, Muhammadu Buhari who came into power in 2015 on the back of promises to tackle insecurity resorted to begging for the release of the 27 Forestry College Students who were eventually freed on Wednesday after 57 days in captivity.
Just few days ago, an Islamic cleric who has been in the forefront of Government negotiation with bandits; Sheikh Gumi, was quoted to have urged the Federal Government to go as far as getting money from the Central Bank to pay ransom to those bandits.
This sent a negative signal of the helpless state of the country currently, were all the nation’s security apparatuses have become handicapped in the war against terrorism and insecurity.
The underlying truth is that these terrorists are fast occupying every nook and cranny of the nation, setting up camps with necessary facilities to permit comfort and life conquering territories, with current plans to boost their finances for purchase of arms and other hardware to facilitate their operations from the IGR raised through ransom pqyments. This according to intergenerational sources was to avoid the heavy survillance on their local and foreign sponsors and the movement of cash.
As a result of this precarious situation, the government should rather amplify measures of eliminating than mitigating with bandits to solve the problem of insecurity and safety otherwise, school enrolment and attendance at all levels may be jeopardised. Similarly, hunger and food security will be affected as farmers cannot get to their farms and return safely.
The escalation of abductions and ease with with the terrorists and bandits now freely launch attacks while relentlessly penetrating the national space is alarming. Their activities appear fully funded and once their secret agenda is played out, then Nigeria will be standing on the brink of war and complete destruction.