By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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Worried about the adverse consequences to the business climate for the commercial capital of Nigeria, should kidnappings of persons for ransom payment by freelance armed non-state actors be allowed to become pervasive in Lagos, the Lagos State government and the Lagos House of Assembly have been tasked to implement full scale proactive measures to check the trend.

In a statement to journalists which it specifically condemned the kidnapping by unknown armed gunmen of the Chairman of the Ejigbo local council Development Area Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has advocated the passage by the Lagos State House of Assembly of capital punishment for convicted kidnappers and for the strict enforcement of this law by the Nigeria police Force. The Lagos State Judiciary, it says, should regard kidnappings as grave offences against the state and the citizenry which must be expeditiously adjudicated and alleged offenders punished.

Besides, HURIWA has charged President Goodluck Jonathan to order the Inspector General of police Mr. Mohammed Abubakar and the service Chiefs of the Armed forces to set up a joint national anti-kidnapping security task force similar to the United States Homeland Security Department to vigorously fight the disturbing menace of armed kidnappings which according to the Rights group has brought opprobrium and global shame to the image of Nigeria and negatively affects business climate in Nigeria.

The National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media Affairs' Director Miss Zainab Yusuf who jointly endorsed the media release said the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has advocated 'fool proof,' 'intelligence – drive' crime detection mechanism as the best approach for the security agents to operate in tackling kidnappings which according to it, has become a major national crime emergency which must be confronted as such by all strata of governments.

“The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, as clearly provided for under section 14 2(b) of the constitution. We are therefore shocked to see that vicious violent crimes and terrorism of all dimensions have assumed frightening scope all across Nigeria and the current government looks clearly overwhelmed. Kidnapping is a very dangerous dimension of terrorism which must be viewed and confronted with all seriousness with all the effective legal framework, effective law enforcement and deliberate effort on the part of all Nigerians to publicly condemn it and expose the perpetrators who live in the community”, HURIWA affirmed.

HURIWA has therefore urged the kidnappers of Mr. Bamigbetan to release him unharmed because it is primitive and irrational to perpetrate this type of abominable crime against humanity. HURIWA praised Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan as a 'patriotic and selfless' servant of Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations going by his style of leadership in the council which has witnessed remarkable transformation since he assumed office.

The Rights group tasked governor Raji Fashola and the Lagos State House of Assembly to declare kidnappings as major crime emergency which must be fought with every available legal, human and material resources so as to safeguard the security of lives and property of Lagosians and preserve the prestigious status of Lagos as the commercial capital of Nigeria.

“The Lagos State government must consider making kidnapping an egregious crime punishable by death and the police must be trained to competently enforce this law. It is imperative that kidnappings are effectively wiped out before the menace completely destroys Nigeria's domestic economy and the informal sector”, HURIWA, argued.