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Insecurity: I Advised people not to pay ransom until I was kidnapped – Ex-DSS Director

Insecurity: I Advised people not to pay ransom until I was kidnapped - Ex-DSS Director

 Insecurity: I Advised people not to pay ransom until I was kidnapped – Ex-DSS Director

A former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor, has revealed that he changed his stance on ransom payment to kidnappers after he became a victim of kidnapping.

Ejiofor made this known while commenting on the security situation in the country, particularly the killing of three traditional rulers in Ekiti and Kwara States and recent kidnapping incidents.

Former DSS officials expressed hope that kidnappings can still be curtailed but noted that insecurity persists because of insufficient resources.

While exonerating the current government from any blame, he argued that security challenges have been festering for a long time, as evidenced by the budget allocation to the security sub-sector.

“It (insecurity) is not out of control, but people are worried. I am worried. The issue is that we have not deployed sufficient resources to tackle the problem.

“No one should be blaming the government now because this issue has been festering for a long time. The largest we have in the budget is for the security sub-sector.

“There should be proper oversight to ensure the funds are properly deployed. We have to ensure the monies are not diverted by the leadership of security agencies. They shouldn’t live luxurious lifestyles,” Ejiofor stated.

The Nigerian Police recently reiterated that paying ransom to kidnappers is punishable and encouraged families of kidnapped victims to always involve the authorities in negotiations.

But, Ejiofor argued that it’s okay for the citizens to secure the lives of their loved ones if the government has failed to do its responsibility.

He recalled that he was also against ransom payment and used to discourage families of those who were kidnapped from succumbing to such demand until he became a victim of kidnapping.

“Before I became a victim, I had often said people shouldn’t pay ransom. But that notion changed after I became a victim. He who feels it knows it. Unless you are not involved, you will do everything possible including payment of ransom to release your relative.

“Of course, the government will always discourage people from paying ransom. For me, I believe in the saying that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. If you secure yourself, if the government cannot secure you, that’s fine.

“Another option could have been for the government to supervise the payment of ransom to get information. But victims do not cooperate with police,” Ejiofor said.

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