Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has blamed the Federal and some State Governments for establishing any form of negotiation with kidnappers and bandits, saying that the criminals should not be allowed to enjoy the proceeds of their crimes.
Governor Yahaya Bello, who spoke today, October 4, at the opening of Retreat by the Senate Press Corps in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, 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.
According to the governor, who was represented by his Deputy, David Onoja, being ruthless against the criminals will keep them at bay, saying that the spate of kidnappings in the state has reduced to the barest minimum largely due to his administration’s resolve to tackle the criminals headlong.
Governor Yahay Bello recalled that 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.”
The governor assured Kogi residents and Nigerians that his administration is determined 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.”
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 Governor Yahay Bello for his developmental strides, especially for ensuring relative peace and security in the state.
The theme of the Retreat is: “Democracy and development in a Federation: Roles of Media, States and Parliaments.”