By Tayo ABIOLA
Nigeria is said to have the highest kidnapping rate, 80%, in the Gulf of Guinea.
Security expert Dr Antonio Okoye said in Calabar at the 6th Annual Security Executives Converge organised by the Institute of Security and Strategic Studies (ISSS).
Okoye said that no part of Nigeria is immune to kidnapping because the crime occurs both onshore and offshore.
During his paper presentation, titled ‘Reversing the trend of Kidnapping in Nigeria through Security Optimization.’
Okoye mentioned factors responsible for the surge in kidnapping: weak governance institutions, economic marginalisation, heightened proliferation of small and light weapons (SALWs), faulty national security architecture, the practice of paying ransom and poor policing capability, among others.
However, he advised that individuals should mind what they display on social media, do a familiarity check on the route of their destination, maintain a high level of vigilance and conduct background checks on new entrants and even employees at the workplace.
Addressing participants at the 6th Annual Security Executives Converge, the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rtd Hon Elvert Ayambem, mentioned that Nigeria is depleted with severe insecurity where every region has its peculiarity.
Condemning the high crime rate in the country, Ayambem said, “there’s no level of poverty that should drive anybody into crime.
“There’s barely any state in Nigeria without significant threat of insecurity. I must thank ISSS for its stride in training personnel and individuals on proper skills and intelligence over the years. There’s a dire need for an awakening consciousness on the path of every Nigerian as it concerns our security as a sovereign state.
The lawmaker called for deliberate collaboration between the ISSS and all the tertiary institutions in the country to train and upskill youths on basic security tips for the safety of our country.
On his part, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Administration, Ime Bassey Usanga, in his address, chastised parents for taking the back seat in child training, stressing that a good society begins from home.
The ACP, emphasizing that the youth problem is drug-related, advised governments to add value to internal security and invest in technological equipment such as scanners and CCTV cameras in remote areas.
While emphasising the youth problem is drug-related, the ACP advised governments to add value to internal security and invest in technological equipment such as scanners and security cameras in remote areas.
In his remarks, the Chief Security Officer, University of Calabar, Rtd Captain A. O. Bisong, also averred that a serious lacuna in the home front affects cultural values, stressing that there’s a need for attitudinal change for everyone.
“If insecurity is local, the solution should also be local. We need a button-top approach to handling security appropriately. He said there’s a need for interagency collaboration and strengthening of security outfits across the country.