Insecurity: Don’t pay ransom to bandits, call Gumi to order, lawyer warns FG

The Federal Government has been warned against negotiating with bandits, as well as paying ransom to free victims who are kidnapped.

In the same vein, FG has been urged to call Sheikh Abubakar Gumi to order in his frequent pro-negotiation advocacy with faceless criminals.

These assertions were made on Sunday, by a Lagos based lawyer, Alhaji Yisa Abdul Kareem, at The Companion, an association Muslim men in business and the professions, Alimoso zone’s 1445 AH Ramadan Lecture.

However, if the authorities failed to heed the warnings, then, the country, according to the lawyer, is gradually heading towards a “lawless” state.

Alhaji Abdul Kareem who represented a senior lawyer, Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN as the Guest Speaker at the lecture, insisted that Gumi’s position was personal, so, should not be taken as the voice of any religious organisation.

The lawyer and member of The Companion, Lagos District said: “He (Gumi) is free to express his opinion, but I don’t agree with him that the government should negotiate with the bandits. Check the number of kidnapped people recently…If the government should spend huge resources on paying ransom to faceless criminals, then, the country is gradually turning to a lawless society”.

To this end, Abdul Kareem stressed that Sheikh Gumi should be “cautioned; called to order and his senses should be assessed”.

The legal practitioner restated that Gumi should be stopped from misleading the public with his dangerous and parochial opinion.

Still speaking during an interview with The Eagleonline, Alhaji Abdul Kareem said what the government should do to stem insecurity in the country, was the provision of adequate modern weapons and detective implements.

He pointed out: “The world has advanced now. As we speak here, there are equipment that can detect our location. Government should be focused on getting sophisticated equipment for the security agencies to work with.

“It was alleged that the security agencies don’t have the pre-requisite equipment to work with. Also, it was learnt that the previous government paid for some of these equipment, but were not delivered to the country.

“Nigeria is not only the country facing insecurity challenges, many countries do, but they got over it. Government must motivate the security agencies, so that an average Nigerian security operative, soldier or police will be courageous enough and emboldened to say “I’m going to fight for my country.”

While presenting a lecture with the theme: “The roles of stakeholders in resolving the challenges facing Nigeria: How far; So far? Alhaji Abdul Kareem identified critical stakeholders which include: Government; Civil Society Organizations; Private Sector; International Organisations; Citizens; Media and Journalists; Religion Leaders; Academics; Researchers and Youth Organizations.

The Guest Speaker stated that the roles of government include: policy formulation, resource allocation, regulation and oversight, as well as provision of public goods and services.

Ali said the roles rested on CSOs include: advocacy and awareness, mentoring, service delivery and capacity building.

For the private sector, the roles according to the Lecturer are: investment and economic growth, infrastructure development, corporate social responsibility, among others.

Moving forward, the senior Lawyer recommended that stakeholders should “Prioritise Anti-Corruption Measures: Implement robust anti-corruption strategies, strengthen institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and enforce transparency and accountability measures to curb corruption at all levels.

“Enhance Security: Invest in law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and community policing to combat insurgency, terrorism, banditry, and other security threats, ensuring the safety and security of citizens and investors.

“Promote Inclusive Governance: Foster inclusive governance by engaging citizens in decision-making processes, respecting human rights, and addressing grievances through dialogue and conflict resolution mechanisms.

“Advocate for Good Governance: Continue advocating for transparency, accountability, and good governance practices through monitoring, public awareness campaigns, and policy advocacy initiatives.

Strengthen Civil Society Capacity: Enhance the capacity of CSOs through training, networking, and resource mobilisation efforts to amplify their voices and influence in driving positive change.

“Foster Ethical Business Practices: Promote ethical business conduct, corporate governance, and compliance with laws and regulations to combat corruption and enhance trust and credibility in the business environment.

“Invest in Sustainable Development: Embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that prioritise social impact, environmental sustainability, and community development, contributing to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Align Support with National Priorities: Ensure that international assistance aligns with Nigeria’s development priorities, respects national sovereignty, and promotes ownership and leadership by Nigerian institutions and stakeholders.

“Enhance Coordination and Harmonization: Coordinate efforts among international partners to avoid duplication, streamline assistance, and maximise impact, fostering synergies and complementarity in development interventions.

“Promote Active Citizenship: Engage in civic education, voter awareness campaigns, and community mobilisation efforts to promote active citizenship, democratic participation, and accountability at all levels of governance.

“Participate in peace building: Contribute to peace building efforts by fostering interethnic dialogue, promoting tolerance and understanding, and supporting initiatives that address root causes of conflict and promote social cohesion”.

If implemented, Ali said stakeholders can collectively tackle the challenges facing Nigeria and contribute to sustainable development, peace, and prosperity for all Nigerians.

He added that the collaboration between government organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders is essential for achieving holistic societal development. 

Speaking during an interview with The Eagleonline, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr Rasaki Yinka Akinbo said the first place insecurity challenges are addressed is home.

Dr Akinbo stated: “Apart from what will be taught in school, once a student is well cultured from home, this will reflect in whatever action he/she takes when in school. This makes it easier for the school to culture them at an academic level.

“We are trying our best to ensure that we train those in charge of the students’ affairs unit, such that the students are well cultured. We conduct regular training programmes for the executives, heads of classes, departmental and students’ associations”.

Dr Akinbo who is the Rector, Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences, Ilese-Ijebu, Ogun State, South West Nigeria, called for adequate security presence around academic communities in the country.

While using his personal life experience as an example, OSPOHAS boss urged participants at the Lecture to stick to prayers, saying it is a key to unlock life’s difficulties and that it opens the door to success.

While responding during an interview, the Lagos District Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Abdul Kabir Olayiwola Baruwa, who commended Alimoso zone of the group, for another successful programme, said the organisation has since been contributing in efforts to tackle insecurity in the country, through public advocacy and series public lecture, by providing practical solutions.

On collaboration and synergy among the security agencies, Baruwa asserted that before now, the formations operated in “silos”, but called for an integrated approach – through information and intelligence gathering and sharing.

“It’s not as if this is my turf, so, I have to defend it, that won’t work. But if there is proper intelligence sharing, there will be a proper handshake. If this is achieved, there will be all information in the basket and everyone will be able to secure the nation”, Baruwa affirmed.

Unlike before when collaboration was very poor, Alhaji Baruwa said presently, there was improvement, calling on the security agencies under the office of the National Security Adviser, to ensure more collaboration, cooperation and networking among the security bodies to ensure safety of lives and property “within the community, state and national space”.

This, he restated, are the tools to achieve economic prosperity in the country.

In his welcome address, the Alimoso Zonal Coordinator of The Companion, Tpl. Kamor Ogunfowora said this year’s Ramadan coincides with a particularly difficult period in the history of the country, saying that it was a period when many Nigerians, including Muslims are going through an unprecedented hardship largely characterised by astronomical increase in the prices of basic staple foods, medications, transportation as well as general goods and services.  

This, Ogunfowora noted, is in addition to insecurity which manifests in various forms such as banditry, kidnapping, ritual killing, communal clashes, and other forms of violent crimes. 

He added that there are issues of corruption, unemployment, bad governance, poverty, poor infrastructure, inadequate health care, poor and ineffective educational system, incessant workers’ strike, among others, lamenting that these challenges have been “with us for quite a while and efforts have been made at different times by various administrations to proffer solutions to overcome these protracting challenges.

“The focus of our lecture this year is therefore, an assessment of the challenges facing our dear country as well as the seemingly ineffective solutions that have been proffered over the years with a view to creating a pathway to an enduring socio-economic development model to permanently address and overcome the challenges. 

“The topic is therefore titled: The Roles of Stakeholders in Resolving the Challenges facing Nigeria: How Far, So Far.”  We have also gone further to carefully select an erudite scholar and legal practitioner of repute in the person of Professor Yusuf Ali, SAN, to speak on this issue of national concern” Ogunfowora stated.

Apart from the lecture, other side attractions included: strategic commitment and engagement in the affairs of local community and the state, medical check up and presentation of awards to outstanding Zonal Usrah members.

The well attended lecture was graced by His Royal Highness, Oba Abdul Fatai Oladega Talabi, the Aala of Ilala Kingdom, Kwara State, former Rector, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Tpl. Waheed Kadiri, present and past Leaders, of The Companion, Lagos District, as well as members of The Criterion, women wing of The Companion.

The Ramadan lecture was the 11th edition being put together by the zone.

The Lagos District Companion operates under nine Usrah zones. They include: Alimoso, Akute/Lambe, Agege/Ogba, Ikorodu, Oko Oba, Mushin, Surulere, Ketu/Ojota and Light House, Lekki.

Follow The Eagle Online Channel on WhatsApp

Back to top button