Speak to conquer, by Ballason Gloria Mabeiam

This is it…The next few days are critical for Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Alice Loksha Ngaddah and Leah Sharibu.
Either of two things would happen-they may be set free or killed.
If you are just joining us at the middle of the story, it would help to do a recap.
Saifura Husseini Ahmed, Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Alice Loksha Ngaddah are relief workers at Internally Displaced Persons camp in North-East Nigeria who were captured by Boko Haram.
Alice works with UNICEF, Hauwa and Saifura both work for the Red cross.They were volunteer workers who were helping to provide relief to the hurting before they themselves became victims.
A few days ago, Saifura was killed by the terrorist following an ultimatum the captors had given.
Saifura was a mother of two and a midwife.
She is no more.
Two of her colleagues and Leah Sharibu now live as close to death as could be.
Every passing moment leaves their throbbing hearts in fear of the worst.
The story of these three women is the story of thousands of Nigerians.
Kidnapping is now a thing in the country.
Kidnapping is the taking away of a person by force, threat or deceit with intention to cause him or her to be detained against his or her will.
Anyone who knew Nigeria twenty years ago will find this discussion strange.
It all started like a joke.
Then it became something that happened randomly in the oil-rich Niger Delta then in the South-east as an alternative to robbery.
With the rise of insurgency, kidnapping soon lost its status as a distant thing.
On the highways and in the cities, kidnappers now have a wide net with which they haul their victims.
Victims are kidnapped and ransomed for money.
Some are held as sex slaves, human shields or killed to meet the craving of their captors’ viciousness.
Various laws proscribe Kidnapping and provide heavy sanctions against it.
Section 364 of the Criminal Code Act provides thus: Any person who unlawfully imprisons any person, and takes him out of Nigeria without his consent; or (b) unlawfully imprisons any person within Nigeria in such a manner as to prevent him from applying to a court for his release or from discovering to any other person the place where he is imprisoned; or in such a manner as to prevent any person entitled to have access to him for discovering the place where he is imprisoned is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for ten years.
The Penal Code which is applicable to most northern states provides thus: “Whoever takes or entices a person, under fourteen years of age if a male or under sixteen years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind out of the keeping of the unlawful guardian of such person without the consent of such guardian or conveys that person beyond the limits of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, without the consent to such removal is said to kidnap such a person.
Section 273 of the Code prescribes the punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Clearly the laws were designed in the days of innocence when things were not as bad.
As kidnapping spread across the country affecting economic activities and holding citizens in fear, the Nigerian Senate in September 2017 passed into Law the Kidnapping, Abduction Act which stipulates a death sentence on anyone whose kidnapping activities led to the death of any person and specifies a 30-year jail term for anyone colluding with an abductor to receive ransom for any person wrongfully confined.
Various states have also designed laws against kidnapping.
For instance, section 246 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law 2017 defines kidnapping in these terms: Whoever lawfully seizes ,confines, decoys, instills, fears, tricks, abducts or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person, commits the offence of kidnapping.
The (b) section provides life imprisonment as punishment for kidnapping while death becomes the punishment for the offender if the kidnap of a person results in death.
A comparison of the Laws show that the Federation and states are interested in confronting kidnapping at least as reflected in the laws.
The next, rational question is if we have Laws against kidnapping, why is the country experiencing an upsurge in the phenomenon? The answer may be a minute away.
Preventing kidnapping Understanding why crimes occur may help in providing an answer.
Several factors must coalesce for crime to occur: a group or an individual must have the desire or motivation to participate in a banned or prohibited behavior.
Some or all of the persons who want to carry out the crime must have the skills and tools needed to commit the crime.
Third, there must be an opportunity that presents itself for crime to happen.
Therefore, between desire, skills and opportunity, the crime of kidnapping can be prevented.
More specific to our situation, we have got to ask ourselves what created the desire for kidnapping in Nigeria.
When the incident of kidnapping began in the Niger Delta, the rest of the country failed to see reason why they should join hands to nib it in the bud.
It then spiraled to the South East where people who were thought to be rich were kidnapped then some of the poor thought the incident was targeted at people of means.
Today, the net is so wide that you don’t have to be rich to be kidnapped.
Those who are picked on the highways are sometimes itinerant peopleas most Nigerians are, who are trying to eke out a living.
The poignant words of the German Martin Niemoller come in strongly at this point when he said: First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Alice Loksha Ngaddah, Leah Sharibu, the missing Chibok girls and all those in captivity are in a position where they cannot speak for themselves.
Is it ok for the rest of us to imagine ourselves in their shoes and collectively speak up for their rescue? I hope it is.
Speaking up for our soldiers The life of a soldier is tough, the life of his family is tougher but the life of a Nigerian soldier is the toughest.
Great military leaders have been able to provide the right words to motivate their troops and provide the morale for soldiers to fight on; this is something that happens in many decent climes but in the case of the Nigerian soldier especially those in the North-East, the story is not only different but unusual.
A report released by the cable.
ng reveals that many Nigerian soldiers deployed in the special force unit to fight Boko Haram do not have barracks.
They sleep in class rooms.
Many soldiers in Maimalari Barracks are said to construct zinc houses for themselves which means that in the heat of the day they are most hit and in the cool of night, they are most chilled.
Many soldiers are owed operational allowance and do not get hazard allowance.
They are also poorly fed in the units and bushes.
Most will agree with President John F.
Kennedy when he said the path of the soldier is full of hazards what even Kennedy would not have contemplated is a country-imposed hazard on a set of people who courageously decide to protect the country even at the cost of their lives.
It is unfortunate that as our troops struggle to vindicate right, their welfare is treated with levity.
It is sad that while these valiant men and women choose duty, honour and country as their watchword in order to bring salvation to the people, circumstances have thrown them against two forcesthe enemy and an uncaring nation.

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