It's Illegal To Raise Ransom For Terrorists – Defence Minister Tells Nigerians

By Damilare Adeleye

The federal government has frowned on engaging in crowdfunding to raise funds for ransom payments to kidnappers, warning Nigerians about the inherit dangers.

The Minister of Defense, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, said this on Wednesday, adding that such practices would worsen the situation and encourage the criminals to make demands after kidnapping their victims as it will make criminal activities attractive.

He gave the note of warning while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting in the State House, Abuja.

The Minister spoke against the backdrop of the recent happening in which over N50 million was raised through crowdfunding to pay the ransom for the release of the remaining five daughters of Mansoor Al-Kadriya who were kidnapped in Abuja.

However, Badaru insisted that while the government is concerned about the kidnappings, raising ransom through crowdfunding won’t help the situation.

“We all know there’s an existing law against payment of ransom. So, it is very sad for people to go over the internet, radio asking for donations to pay ransom. This will only worsen the situation, it will not help,” Badaru said.

The Minister said if ransoms are not paid and the kidnappers get starved of money, gradually they will stop such criminal activities.

“If we stop, over time the kidnapping will not be profitable and they will stop. It is not easy though but that is the law,” he said.

Speaking further, the Minister said criminals responsible for recent kidnappings in Abuja are those fleeing military operations in the Northwest and North Central zones.

He added that the government and security operatives are, however, working assiduously to clamp down on the bandits and prevent further abductions as President Bola Tinubu has given marching orders to flush them out.

He said: “As you are aware, people are saying FCT, FCT, these kidnappings happen around the suburb, around now and locations that are bothering Kaduna and Niger and this is as a result of the current operations going on in the northwest and some parts of north central.

“The bandits are fleeing and they are getting shelters around these areas and the security agencies are working very hard to push them out, block the movement and finish this thing once and for all.

“The President has given us the marching order and all the support that we need and what the security agencies need to end this thing.”