Kidnap of 15 Students: Who is to blame?


Our attention has been drawn to the kidnap of 15 students of Abayi International, Aba by kidnappers in their school bus yesterday.

It is pathetic that each time there is a kidnap incident, some blind critics blame the State Governor for lack of requisite capacity to curb the menace, instead of identifying the sources, causes and possibly proffering solution to it.

While we do not intend to hold brief for the state governor whose aides are evidently qualified to speak for him; as social crusaders and stakeholders in the Abia project, we think we owe it a duty to speak out.

It is an unpardonable blunder, and gross injustice to Governor Orji to hold him responsible for the menace of kidnapping in the state when in reality the State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, which is constitutionally empowered to curb this menace is not under his control.

According to Section 215 of the 1999 Abdusalami Abubakar-made fraudulent Constitution, the Nigeria Police Force is under the command of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), not the State Governor. The implication is that orders, directives and instructions to perform or carry out duties flow from the Inspector-General of Police, through the chain of Command, to any officer positioned to implement such order. Disobedience or failure to carry out such instruction, directive or order, attracts punitive sanctions.

It is our studied opinion that following the over-centralization of the Nigeria Police Force by the 1999 Abubakar-made Constitution, as opposed to the 1963 Republican Constitution; corrupt elements in the Nigeria Police Force have exploited the constitutional incapacitation of the State Governor and his counterparts in other parts of the federation to aid and abet crime in the society. The arrest and detention of the Divisional Police Officer, Osisioma Police Station as well as the arrest of two members of Police Mobile Force in Abia State, Cpl. Isaiah Eziaku and PC John Alumona, for involvement in kidnapping for ransom speak volume of the complicity of the Police in the perpetration of organized crime in the state.

It is also relevant to note that the problem gets messier and compounded when the Governor has a soured relationship with the President and/or his aides. Recall irresponsible and unwarranted attack on the convoys of Ohanaeze chieftains, including (former) Governors of Orji Kalu of Abia, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi and Achike Udenwa of Imo States, respectively, at Aro-Ngwa, Abia State, on 29 September, 2002, by anti-Igbo presidency forces. Rather than investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to book, the Abia State Police Command had the effrontery to deny that such terrorist act against leaders of one of the three major ethnic groups in the country ever took place. Also fresh in our memories was the criminal role of the Nigeria Police Force in the abduction of a sitting Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chris Ngige in a senseless attempt to boot him out of office through the backdoor by agents of the presidency.

Accordingly, we demand as follows:
1) The constitution of a special anti-crime team, consisting of the State Security Services (SSS), the Army and the Abia State Vigilante Group to investigate the circumstances surrounding the criminal abduction of the 15 students, rescue them and arrest the obnoxious culprits involved in that act of criminality.

2) The immediate restructuring of the Nigeria Police Force by amending the 1999 fraudulently packaged anti-people and anti-progressive Abubakar's Constitution. Governors, states and federal lawmakers of the five south-eastern states of Nigeria can promote this cause by demanding for the restructuring of the Nigeria Police Force as a condition for supporting the 2011 presidential aspiration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. They should use their bait to catch the fish.