The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has directed the Ondo State Commissioner of Police to accelerate efforts and mobilise all resources to rescue elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, who was kidnapped on his farm on Monday.
It was gathered that the IG told policemen in the state that everywhere must be combed to ensure the release of the victim.
Arase’s instruction followed the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the IG and other security agencies to ensure the speedy rescue of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Buhari, according to a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, condemned the “callous and reprehensible kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman.”
The President assured Falae’s family, friends and other concerned Nigerians that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure his swift release.
Buhari, who had requested constant updates from the police and other security agencies on efforts to find and rescue Falae, also denounced the recurring incidents of criminal abductions across the country.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, told news men on Wednesday that the IG had acted immediately on the presidential order by directing the state CP to mobilise all resources and personnel towards the rescue of the statesman.
When asked if the force headquarters would deploy more men to the state, Kolawole said the Ondo State Police Command was up to the task of rescuing Falae from the clutches of his captors.
She said the police had been getting assistance and information from the community, assuring that the police would rescue the captive soon.
“The police are working hard to ensure the rescue of Chief Falae. The IG has directed the command CP to mobilize all resources towards the rescue of the statesmen and I believe this has been done.”
Here is a timeline of high profile kidnappings that have happened in the last few weeks…
On 30th August 2015, Donu Kogbara, a columnist with Vanguard Newspapers, was forcibly taken away in Port Harcourt and it took about two weeks for her to be freed.
Just as the good news of her release was being celebrated, armed robbers invaded the home of the Deputy Managing Director of The SUN Newspapers, Steve Nwosu and, after robbing his family of their valuables, they took his wife, Oluwatoyin, away. She spent four days by her abductors.
Monday 21st of September, statesman, Olu Falae was taken from his farm.
It’s worrisome to see that kidnapping has graduated from a crime of protest by Niger Delta militants to a situation whereby armed thieves steal human beings for ransom along with their property.
The nation is spinning from the effects of all kinds of criminal activity in recent times. Most notably, we have the war on terror in the Northeast frontier. We are also battling with other high crimes such as armed robbery, oil theft, human trafficking, pipeline vandalism, ritual murders, cultism etc.
Some experts say there is the need for a national agenda to confront these intimidating challenges with a sense of urgency. One strong recommendation is that the current administration should call a national summit on these security problems to create national consciousness and after that, constitute a committee of experts to design a comprehensive plan of action.
We may need to create special forces dedicated to the prevention of kidnapping through early identification of the crime cells, and when such crimes do take place these forces can take necessary measures to secure the release of victims. The regular Nigerian Police and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) must be fully rejuvenated, while the armed forces should play desired roles when the need arises.
However, the task of securing the people’s lives and property cannot work if left to the government forces alone. The Nigerian public must be brought into the picture to join hands, especially in helping with useful information and intelligence. These criminals live among the people, and most of them are known. The people must be sensitized and encouraged to be security conscious and vigilant.
Crime only thrives when a society is not seriously committed to confronting it frontally. We urge the Buhari administration to beam the same level of attention it is giving to the war on corruption and the eradication of Boko Haram to the protection of lives and property of Nigerians who now live in fear.