Kidnap of GEJ’s father, nephew

THESE certainly are not the best of times for former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, the tranquillity of Otuoke community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State was shattered following the brazen abduction of the ex-President’s foster father and nephew by heavily armed gunmen.
The incident has created fear among the people.
Surprisingly, it was the second time in two years that the 72-year-old Chief Inengite Nitabai, a prominent figure and former lecturer at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, would be.

The kidnappers gained access to his residence through a nearby creek, a little distance from a military check-point. Two days after, the decomposing body of the nephew, Samuel Oki, 35, was found. Already, joint security forces are combing the creeks and other hideouts to fish out the perpetrators.

Lately, both the federal and state governments have been grappling with the seeming intractable challenge of kidnapping across the country. Some notable citizens have fallen victim.

A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA, Chief Okey Wali (SAN) and one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation cum ex-presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae, were among those kidnapped. Despite series of arrests made so far, there is no let-up in the activities of the criminal gangs.

We, therefore, unequivocally condemn the kidnap of the septuagenarian uncle of ex-President Jonathan’s family and deeply regret the death of the nephew. The sheer criminality is a frightening reflection of the vulnerability of our leaders past and present, as well as their family members.

If close relations of the country’s immediate past president could be abducted so cheaply from their homes, the situation calls for  serious concern. It increases the vulnerability of ordinary Nigerians who have no one to look up to.

Former President Jonathan and his family, both nuclear and extended, deserve adequate protection at all times. Such individuals have become increasingly targeted by kidnappers. Unless something is done, we may wake up one day to hear that a former president of this country is in the den of kidnappers.

And if it can happen to Jonathan, it may happen to any of the former leaders. Hence, we urge the security agents to intensify their efforts and get to the roots of the kidnapping syndicates. The kingpins must be identified and their criminal rings smashed.

We call on the federal government to do everything within its means to reassure citizens of their safety. Also, government at all levels should collaborate in finding solutions to the growing army of unemployed youths that the country is breeding.

Without this being done, the rash of violent crimes will continue to skyrocket until it gets to a breaking point.



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