Alhaji Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has called for sanction against traditional and community leaders where kidnappings and banditry occur to serve as a deterrent to others.
He made the call in a statement dedicated to the recent abducted of over 300 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara in Katsina State.
Lukman said that security personnel deployed to the areas must also face severe sanction for negligence, describing the abduction as painful and shameful.
“Such national security embarrassment must be brought to an end,” he said.
Lukman, however, prayed that God would protect and return the students safely to their parents.
“The situation requires thorough introspection by not just security agencies, but also the imposition of severe sanction against security personnel, traditional and community leaders where kidnappings, banditry and all crimes consuming lives of innocent Nigerians are taking place.
“Every police officer, security personnel, traditional and community leader, located within Kankara or in routes where the school children would have passed should be arrested and tried.
“Similarly, in everywhere where you have such incidence, security agents, traditional and community leaders should be the first line suspects.
“They should be made to prove their innocence by producing the culprits, failing which, they should be convicted,” he said.
He added that corporal punishment covering life and death sentences should be melted to offenders, depending on the extent of the problem.
According to him, kidnapping and insurgence were worse than armed robbery, adding that governors and lawmakers in the states should act expeditiously on the matter.
He noted that to be able to succeed, the capacity of states to enforce laws must be strengthened especially in the area of state police.
“As part of the strategy of strengthening law enforcement, questions of responding to challenges of the criminal justice system in our states must be treated with the required urgency.
“As our states are taking all of these urgent steps, we must as a party, take the recommendations contained in the Malam Nasir El-Rufai Committee on True Federalism very seriously.
“There is no reason why after two years, the report is yet to get to the National Assembly,” he said.