Crowdfunding Ransom Will Worsen Kidnapping, Defence Minister Warns Nigerians

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The Federal Government has warned against public crowdfunding to pay ransoms for kidnapped victims, saying it will only worsen the spate of abductions.
Minister of Defense, Abubakar Badaru, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa.
The warning comes amidst reports that Nigerians have raised over N50 million through crowdfunding to pay the ransom for the release of the remaining five daughters of Mansoor Al-Kadriya.
LEADERSHIP reports that six siblings were abducted from their father’s house in Bwari Council, Abuja, on December 26, 2023, alongside their father.
Although their father was later released to go and raise the ransom, the kidnappers killed one of his daughters, Nabeeha, last Friday for failing to raise the said ransom, leaving five alive.
However, Badaru said, while the government is deeply concerned about the kidnappings, paying ransoms through public donations will exacerbate the problem.
“We all know there’s an existing law against the payment of ransom. So, it is very sad for people to go over the internet, radio asking for donations to pay ransom. This will only worsen the situation; it will not help,” Badaru said.
Badaru urged Nigerians to refrain from responding to ransom demands publicly, noting that the government’s position is to starve kidnappers of the profits that drive abductions.
“If we stop, over time the kidnapping will not be profitable, and they will stop. It is not easy, though, but that is the law,” he said.
According to the minister, the recent kidnappings in the suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are being perpetrated by bandits fleeing military operations in the North West and North Central zones.
He assured that security agencies are working round the clock to track down the bandits and prevent further abductions.
He said, “As you are aware, people are saying FCT, FCT, these kidnappings happen around the suburb, around now and locations that are bothering Kaduna and Niger.
“And this is as a result of the current operations going on in the northwest and some parts of the North Central.
“The bandits are fleeing and they are getting shelters around these areas, and the security agencies are working very hard to push them out, block the movement, and finish this thing once and for all.
“The president has given us the marching order and all the support that we need and what the security agencies need to end this thing.”
The minister also said investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the explosion in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The explosion killed two persons and wounded about 80 others. It also destroyed several buildings, vehicles, and other properties.
Badaru said while the state governor had indicated preliminary findings show the blast may have been caused by explosives owned by illegal miners in the area, the defence ministry is not ruling out other possibilities such as a gas explosion.


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