Gift Joseph Okpakorese
As the controversies surrounding the debates of the ugly trend of banditry within the nation heats up, many citizens are left wondering why there has been no strong sign of the federal government effectively taking control of the situation even though this issue has lingered on for a very long while.
News sources recently revealed how Hon. Benjamin Kalu, a member representing Bendel Federal Constituency, has contested the safety officials of the federation to track the origin of the funding of banditry in the North the same way they went after #EndSARS protesters and closed their monetary allocation sources.
In the opinion of the Rep’s Spokesperson, it was never going to be an easy feat for any group or individual to kidnap students or several children without the adequate mobilization of funds and careful planning.
Commenting via a radio program streamed by ABN TV on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the lawmaker disclosed that to be candid and reasonable, it requires a great deal of time and resources for these so-called thieves to operate their automobiles, camp, and feed their abducted victims in one place, and ensure all necessary safety for them. for days, weeks, or months as the case may differ or be.
It is therefore not out of place for any sane person to think that there must be greater powers or stakeholders behind these evil activities. Benjamin Kalu insisted that;
“Somebody must be responsible for the funding of this operation. This is the truth. The security agencies should follow where the funding is coming from and cut it short.
“In as much as we chase them into the bush and all the rest of them we are doing, we must begin to ask where the source of funding of this thing is? “If we were able to close the account of those doing #EndSARS, to cut off the funds being used for it, we can also cut the source of this banditry. Without funding, no crime will thrive because AK-47 is not a penny. They don’t sell it for Kobo and they have plenty of it and the splay same openly. So let’s find out where the money is coming from and cut it down. “As a legislature, we will keep using legislative intervention to support the executive in their fight against insecurity. This we can guarantee” he said.
Furthermore, kalu revealed that there should be honesty on the part of the FG in following the same processes and methods used in apprehending those who financed the just witnessed EndSars protests. Hence, he enjoined the members of the forces to apply the same vigor and passionate enthusiasm that was put into the tracing and eventual discovery, which led to the confrontation of those perceived to be the promoters of the #endSARS protest be employed.
In his own words; the lawmaker stated that “The model adopted by the security agencies during #EndSARs which sought and cut off the source of funding of the protest was a very brilliant one because it was useful in ending EndSARS protest which was penetrated and abused by hoodlums. In the process properties and lives were saved and the life of the protest was cut short.
He continued affirming that there should be no discrepancy in dealing with the threatening situation on the ground. For him, “This same model should be adopted by the security intelligence community. They should trace the formal and informal routes of the funding of these operations as well as the entire economic ecosystem of the operations including their beneficiaries to cut it off. Once it is cut off from the sources the activities will dry up. “Coordinating a crime of such magnitude must take a lot of resources which does not look affordable to those carrying the arms, so let’s trace it to those arming them and cut it off. “Guns don’t fire without a bullet, cut off the source of the Bullet and the gun will become a heavy burden in the hands of those holding it. Banditry will go once we cut off their sources of funds.
“It may not be as easy as the #EndSARS protest but it is a task that must be fulfilled by the security intelligence agencies. This is achievable and I am sure the new team of service chiefs know what to do and will do it. Trace the money, cut it off and the activities will dry up”.
For some Nigerians, this is indeed a very wonderful and welcome alternative if the suggestion of the lawmaker is carried out accordingly. Moreover, it also does not bode well for the Genuity band straightforwardness of the federal government because it simply depicts a show of misplaced priority and perhaps a subtle measure to boycott bringing the culprits responsible for this mayhem and insecurities within the nation to justice as many have been led to believe especially with the way they see the federal government’s sluggish approach to this dire and precarious situation.