Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello has challenged Federal and State Governments to stop negotiating with kidnappers to address banditry and other forms of insecurity.
He said kidnappers should not be allowed to enjoy the proceeds of their crimes.
Bello urged them to borrow a leaf from his administration, which has stopped negotiating with bandits.
He said that the only way to drastically reduce the menace of kidnapping is to stop negotiating with the perpetrators and preventing them from enjoying the proceeds of the crime.
He said being ruthless against the criminals is will keep them at bay.
Bello spoke during the Senate Press Corps’ Retreat 2020 with the theme, “Democracy and development in a Federation: Roles of Media, States and Parliaments” in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, David Onoja, while declaring the retreat open, said before emergence of his administration in 2016, “Kogi was noted as the kidnap capital of Nigeria.
“Our highways were littered with virtually weekly occurrences of armed robbery, especially night travelers in luxurious buses.
“In four years nine months later, though we have not been able to eradicate kidnappings totally, the numbers have drastically reduced to the barest minimum.
“And highway robberies and bank robberies are becoming things that are in our history books rather than what we experienced.
“We are doing our best in fighting insecurity in Kogi and ensuring that life and property are secured,” he said.
Bello assured Kogi residents and Nigerians of his administration’s determination to provide succour for victims of flash flooding in the state.
“While we may not be able to stop the flooding, we will prevent as many lives as possible from going with the menace.
“That is our focus, that is our target, that is what we shall achieve by the grace of God,” he said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, stressed the importance for National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly to work closely together in enacting legislations that would aid the development of the country.
He commended Bello for his developmental strides especially for ensuring relative peace and security in the state.
Source: TheNation Newspapers
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