Journalism of Courage

Real reasons we sometime stoop to negotiate with bandits, kidnappers — IGP

“If you do not rescue the person safely, unhurt, you have not achieved anything and once somebody is in the captivity of an armed person, then you need to do a lot of things; it is not all about guns and other things.

The Police Inspector-General, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has given reasons why security agencies stoop to negotiating with bandits and kidnappers instead of applying maximum force to free hostages.

According to Baba, it will be a futile effort to use “extreme force” against armed terrorists or bandits to free hostages unhurt.

“The issue of kidnapping is an issue that bothers almost all the security agents, including the military. It is a crime that once it is committed, you have to thread very softly and with all sense of professionalism.

“If you do not rescue the person safely, unhurt, you have not achieved anything and once somebody is in the captivity of an armed person, then you need to do a lot of things; it is not all about guns and other things.

“There are a lot of other things that can be done. We were able to rescue the whole of Forestry students in Kaduna through negotiation.

“We were able to rescue many others which I can give you an example, for those that we are in contact with. There are things that we are doing. Kidnapping is a new crime and requires new ways of approaching it and new ways of dousing it,” the IGP said on Thursday at the weekly Ministerial media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Team at the State House, Abuja.

 

IGP Baba on patrol along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway

 

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Baba was answering questions on the failure by security agencies to rescue more than 80 Chibok school girls still in Boko Haram captivity since 2014 and 29 students of FGC Birni Yauri several years after they were abducted.

Making a shocking revelation, he said some of the Chibok girls who have been turned into mothers and were rescued while wandering in the bush are desirous of returning to their captors.

“The issue of Chibok girls you know they are coming out one after another and gradually. Sometimes they come out and say Yes we have come to see our parents and we want to go back.

“So may be they have been assimilated or have acclimatized with the situation and also indoctrinated and had become part and parcel of those who have abducted them.

“But like l said, it is a continuous effort and even last month, you saw a Chibok girl coming out with two or three kids and said she only came to greet her parents and she wants to go back. So, we are still on it, there is hope.”

On the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers who were kidnapped in March this year, the Police boss said: “Clearly it is under study. For instance, the issue of train negotiators and so forth were not an issue before but now we are looking into it.

“We are putting our personnel to undergo such training and courses. So, we will not say hope is lost. We are still on it”.

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