Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state has explained why kidnappers prefer carrying out their activities in Nigeria and not in Mali and other countries in the Sahelian region.
In an interview on Channels Television, the Chairman of the North-West Governors’ Forum stressed that Nigeria is economically attractive to kidnappers in the Sahel region of Africa.
Masari also stated that these kidnappers have been targeting people in Nigeria because of the country’s resources.
“Look at 2015 for instance, you cannot go to the church, you cannot go to the mosque. If I travel from Kaduna to Abuja, it will take five hours and three of those hours are for checkpoints. There are at least 30 checkpoints along the highway.
“Is the situation the same today? It is not. Yes, there are kidnappers, there are bandits around but look at the whole world and look at the position of Nigeria in the Sahelian region. Are we not the richest? So, the attraction even for kidnappers to come to Nigeria is there. If you kidnap somebody in Mali, where are you going to get thousands? If I kidnap you in Nigeria, I get millions. So, all of us will have to rise to the occasion.
“When we started in 2015 in the North-West, it was cattle-rustling. Gradually, it now developed into banditry, rape, kidnappings. When all that the bandits can steal from the villagers along the fringes finished, they moved to the rustling of goats, sheep, and even chicken.
“In my state, the bandits kidnapped four relatives of very senior government officials. When they cannot get anything to sustain themselves, they resort to high-profile kidnappings for money in cities and towns. That is something we must work hard to stop.”