Despite what looks like the most attainable option for victims of kidnapping to regain their freedom, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase has warned that nobody should offer kidnappers any ransom in order to have their loved ones released from captivity by their abductors.
The IGP who decried recent cases of kidnapping of traditional rulers in some parts of the country, stressed that kidnapping has become a huge challenge, a crime that Nigeria has been trying to check over time.
IGP Arase stated his position in Abuja yesterday during an anti-kidnap training for police officers organised by the United Kingdom National Crime Agency.
He said, “Kidnapping has become one crime that we have been trying to handle in this country. Initially, it was armed robbery; some time, it dovetailed into youth restiveness in the Niger Delta. When abduction of people started in the Niger Delta, it was more of an economic issue where foreigners working for oil companies were held for ransom. Along the line, we discovered that the trend started moving into other geopolitical areas where they started targeting traditional rulers. Our strategic response has always been to discourage the payment of ransom, and doing that, we thought it will discourage the people from carrying on their criminal activities.”
Nigerian Pilot recalls that about five traditional rulers have been kidnapped in recent times across the country. About three weeks ago, the Obi of Ubulu-Uku in Delta, 54-year-old Akaeze Ofulue, was kidnapped in his neighbourhood while returning from a journey.
After several days of search for him, his decomposing body was discovered in a bush by members of a search group.
Another monarch, the Odion-Ologbo of Olomoro, in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta, was also abducted in his palace on Friday by unknown gunmen.
Meanwhile, the police chief has urged participants at the training to reproduce whatever they would learn from the exercise wherever they would be deployed.
Earlier, leader of the team from the UK National Crime Agency, Mr John Branney, said the training would be based on the UN Counter Kidnap manual, and that the manual was a generic document put together by UN experts based on global experiences.
Branney said, “We are here to share our experiences with the Nigeria police force; they can learn from us and we can learn from them. I expect the police officers to be in a far better position to take back some of our own knowledge and experiences to train their own officers. The training was an ongoing commitment to combating kidnapping.

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