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Kidnapping and Ransom payment is the most thriving Industry in Nigeria - Audu Bulama Bukarti

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  • Elyahya_Bichi | Feb 23, 2021, 2:48:41 PM
  • Category | News

"...hardly will you meet a company that make 15 Million to 20 Million in a week in Nigeria, Kidnappers make more than that." Mr. Bulama

In an interview with Mr. Alan Kasujja BBC Africa Channel (Africa Daily) on 22nd February, 2021. A Nigerian activist, Nigerian Security Analyst and Analyst in the (Extremism Policy Unit) Tony Blair Institute for Global Change Mr. Audu Bulama Bukarti LLB, BL, LLM stated the reason why Kids are always the prime target for kidnappers in Nigeria.

Mr. Bulama said that he wouldn't be surprised if it turn out to be Boko Haram is the group responsible for the ongoing Kidnapping and Banditry, as he stated in his words:

" It'd surprise casual observers but not me. And we aren't sure whether Boko Haram is the group responsible for this particular kidnapping. But, even if it is it wouldn't surprise me. Since January 2020 I have been flagging how Boko Haram is building excel in Niger State where these Incidents happened. And about 6 months ago we did see a video from Boko Haram showing about 200 members who claimed to be from Niger state, from the forest where these children are taken. This particular area The North-Central and North-West where the December incidents happened is over 500 Miles away from the Boko Haram's base in the North-Eastern part of the Nigeria. And even during it's hay days around 2014-2015 Boko Haram Never had excel in the North-Central or the Noth-west. There were attacks in the North-West, but they sent fighters from the north east."

He also stated that whatever group is responsible for the Kidnappings and Banditry in the North-West and North-Central parts of the country aren't not much different from Boko Haram, Mr. Bulama said:

" We don't know which group is responsible and of course some will say bandits, others will say Boko Haram. But even the difference between bandits and Boko Haram is becoming more and more blurred. Because the original difference is that Boko Haram is an ideological group that claims to fight for Islam and install Islamic setting of governance in their domain. Bandits use to be criminals who are economically motivated, and therefore launch attacks for economic reasons. But in the last 18 months or so Boko Haram started actively trying to infiltrate the criminal groups in the North-West and North-Central. And there is evidence that said they have succeeded in recruiting some of the criminal elements, and therefore you could say that there could be some ideological elements to what we see in the North-West and North-Central Now. But even if we assume it is bandits with criminal purposes, I don't see any difference. it just demonstrate to us the continuing deterioration of security in Nigeria."

When Mr. Bulama was asked if he think Boko Haram is still Ideologically Driven Terrorist Organisation? He Said:

"Yes, It is ideologically driven....... I can tell you most of Boko Haram fighters especially its leaders and senior commanders believes they are pursuing a Devine mission. And if they kill, they are killing for God, and they will get rewarded. And that is the dangerous bit when it comes to criminals and the bandits in the North-East and North-Central. people who have killed 9000 people in the last 10 Years in the North-West are now being in filtrated by people that might give them a moral justification for their crimes and for their loot."

When the Security Analyst was asked Why are Children of all people being taken (Abducted)? His Response was:

" I think there are several reasons:

1. Children are a very good material Boko Haram and Criminals have understood for propaganda, when the Chibok Girls incident happened 6 years ago, they saw the kind of international outrage and media attention they caugh, and that is what is called the propaganda of the deed. Terrorist are happy with that kind of situation.

2. The second is that, because of the political pressure government face when children are attacked, Governments are forced to pay money(ransom), therefore the terrorist understands that they can extort money from Government and communities when children are involved.

3. Children are a very easy target, they are the softest target you can ever find. And schools in Nigeria unfortunately are very porous and unsafe. It is very easy for them to walk into schools and do whatever they like including just walking away with whole student body.

4. Finally, I think there is something deeper. The attacks on school shows the extent of the terrorists and bandits hatred for school. And that's what you find when you have a whole lot of your population not having the privilege or opportunity to go to school."

Mr. Bukarti was also asked if he is one of those people that characterised Kidnapping as Endemic, he Replied:

"Kidnapping is unfortunately an Endemic in Nigeria, in fact you can even say Kidnapping and ransom payment is the most thriving industry in the country. Families and individuals are being kidnapped everyday in Nigeria, and family members are forced to sell-up their only Real-estate or property, sell-up their farms and even borrow money to secure the release of their loved ones. And it's so institutionalised that it even bears the hall mark of Legal Enterprises, I mean hardly will you meet a company that make 15 Million to 20 Million in a week in Nigeria, Kidnappers make more than that. "

Mr. Bulama in his final remarks mentioned that the Nigerian people were very optimistic about the current administration in terms of security, although the Government has on it's hay time did succeeded in dislodging Boko Haram. But, according to Mr. Bulama, the administration declared the victory on fight against Boko Haram Prematurely. Because what we are seeing now is contrary to what victory stands for, as Boko Haram are now rebuilding and striking back with even more sophistication.

SOURCE: Africa Daily

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