‘Justify The Confidence Reposed In You, Theatre Commander Charges Frontline Troops

 

 

In continuation of the Theatre’s effort in intensifying the fighting spirit of troops as well as boosting their morale in the ongoing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations, the Theatre Commander Joint Task Force (JTF) North East (NE) Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK), Major General Christopher Musa continued with his operational visit to frontline troops of 29 Task Force Brigade (Bde) in Sector 2 Area of Responsibility.

On arrival, Maj Gen Musa who was received by the Sector Commander, Maj Gen KA Isoni and other senior officers of the sector, was briefed by the Commander 29 TF Bde, Brig Gen EO Ojabo on the activities of the Brigade.

Thereafter, the Theatre Commander took a tour of Units and Formations under the Bde where he equally addressed troops and assessed their deployment.

The Theatre Commander who was visibly impressed with the performance and turnout of troops, assured them of the unrelenting spirit of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya in providing the requisite logistics and platforms needed to enable them neutralize all terrorist elements within their AOR.


READ ALSO: Troops Raid Bandits Camp In Kaduna, Rescue Nine Kidnap Victims, Recover 90 Cows


Relatedly, he extended the commendation and appreciation of the Chief of Defence Staff and other Service Chiefs.

In furtherance to his address, Maj Gen Musa enjoined troops to justify the confidence reposed on them by the Service Chiefs by remaining committed and dedicated to achieving the task of restoring peace and tranquility to the NE.

Equally, he emphasized the need for personnel to continue to remain professional in their conduct as well as apolitical as the 2023 General Elections approaches.

Earlier in his brief, Brig Gen Ojabo on behalf of officers and men of 29 TF Bde pledged their commitment and determination towards wiping out the marauding remnants of BHT/ISWAP terrorists by taking the fight to their enclaves.

Highlight of the tour was visit to troops location at 156TF Bn Mainok, 273 Tank Bn Jakana, 212 FOB Auno, assessment of troops’ combat readiness, operational brief and address to troops of 29 TF Bde.

Below are some more photos.


Army Mourns General Crushed To Death By Corporal In Lagos

The Nigerian Army logo.

 

The Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi in Lagos has sympathised with the family of its late Director of Finance, Brigadier-General Audu James. 

He died on Monday after he was hit by a corporal identified as Abayomi Edun.

The Public Relations Officer of NAFRC, Lieutenant Commander Bukola Jonathan, told journalists on Friday that the incident was been investigated. The NAFRC spokesman conveyed the centre’s deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, the Nigerian Army and friends of the general.

READ ALSO: Fake FBI Commander, One Other Arraigned For $2.8m Fraud

“The late Brigadier-General OA James was having a walk back to his residence when a Toyota Highlander with registration number EKY-177-FX knocked him down resulting in an instant death,” Jonathan said.

“Consequently, the driver and the vehicle are in the custody of the Centre Provost office to assist in unravelling the circumstances that led to the very regrettable loss of the senior officer.”

The centre’s PRO stated that the general’s remains had been deposited at 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

The tragic incident occurred barely two months after late James resumed at NAFRC.

Driving Under the Influence?

Initial reports on Wednesday revealed that Brigadier-General James died after Edun with whom he had earlier had a good relationship, crushed him while the former was walking to his residence on the premises of the centre.

Corporal Edun was said to have been under the influence of alcohol, allegedly driving recklessly before hitting the senior officer. The high-ranking general was said to have been immediately rushed to the hospital but later died from injuries sustained from the accident.

Soldier Shoots Dead Colleague, NGO Staff In North-East

File Photo of the Nigerian Army logo.

 

The army on Thursday said a soldier has shot and killed a staff of one of the Non-Governmental Organisations providing humanitarian support in the North-East.

According to a statement signed by army spokesperson, Major Samson Nantip Zhakom, the soldier also shot a colleague and injured the co-pilot of one of the United Nations helicopters.

The circumstances that led to the shooting are not yet clear.

“The Theatre Command Operation HADIN KAI regrets to inform the public of a sad occurrence at one of our military base today,” the statement said.

“A soldier shot and killed a staff of one of the NGOs providing humanitarian support in the North East. Same soldier also killed another soldier and injured the co-pilot of one of the UN helicopters.

“Own troops on the ground immediately neutralized the errant personnel. The injured co-pilot has been stabilized while the corpses of the deceased have been moved to the 7 Division Hospital. Detailed investigation into the incident and subsequent remedial actions have commenced into the highly regrettable incident.

“Further details will be provided later.”

Army Corporal Kills General In Lagos State 

File Photo of the Nigerian Army logo.

 

Officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos were thrown into mourning on Wednesday following the death of the centre’s Director of Finance Brigadier General Audu James.

Channels Television gathered that General James lost his life after a corporal identified as Abayomi Edun who he had earlier had a good relationship, crushed him with a car while he was walking to his residence within the barrack.

READ ALSO: Troops Kill Dreaded Bandit Leader Kachalla Gudau, Others In Kaduna

A source added that Corporal Edun was confirmed to have acted under the influence of alcohol while he drove recklessly before hitting the senior officer.

The high-ranking General was said to have been immediately rushed to the hospital but later died from injuries sustained From the accident.

Troops Neutralize Notorious Bandit Commander ‘Dogo Maikasuwa’ In Kaduna

 

A notorious bandit commander , popularly called Dogo Maikasuwa has been killed by security forces during a clearance operation in Chikun local government area of kaduna state.

This was confirmed by the state commissioner for internal security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan .

Aruwan disclosed that the notorious bandit in the company of his foot soldiers ran into an ambush laid by security operatives in a forest at the Gengere-Kaso general area, around the Chikun and Kajuru boundaries.

According to the report, the security forces after the fierce battle successfully neutralized the bandit leader and recovered one AK-47 rifle, one magazine, five rounds of ammunition, two motorcycles and one set of camouflage military fatigues from them.


READ ALSO: Troops Rescue Kidnap Victims, Recover Arms, Motorcycles In Zamfara


Other bandits escaped with gun wounds, while was further gathered that one of them died from injuries sustained in the fierce battle, with his remains carried away by other fleeing criminal elements.

The Commissioner says that Dogo Maikasuwa who is also known as Dogo Maimillion led series of attacks and kidnappings of citizens plying the Kaduna-Kachia Road, and in communities within Chikun and Kajuru LGAs. He was one of the deadliest bandits leading other elements in terrorizing citizens of these general areas.

According to human intelligence sources, he was always dressed in green camouflage military fatigues and wielding an AK47 rifle. Such was his appearance during the duel with security forces which ultimately consumed him.

It was also gleaned that he led his bandits to engage in operations with cruelty, often killing kidnapped victims when ransoms were delayed or considered meager.

Security Heads In Enugu Vow To End Kidnapping Along Ugwogo-Opi Road

Enugu, usually referred to as Enugu State to distinguish it from the city of Enugu, is a state in southeastern Nigeria, created in 1991 from part of the old Anambra State.
Enugu, usually referred to as Enugu State to distinguish it from the city of Enugu, is a state in southeastern Nigeria, created in 1991 from part of the old Anambra State.

 

Heads of security operatives in Enugu State have promised to clear out kidnappers operating on the Ugwogo-Opi road.

The security operatives’ head which included the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Umar Musa, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Ammani, the Director of Department of State Services (DSS) H.M Daluwa, the Garrison Commander, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. M.K Ibrahim, among others, was led to the kidnappers’ hideouts by the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for an assessment of the area.

Addressing newsmen during the on-the-spot assessment visit, the GOC, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Musa, who spoke on behalf of the other heads of security agencies in the state, confirmed that “the perpetrators are purely kidnappers.”

READ ALSOTerror Alert: No Imminent Threat In Abuja, IGP Insists

He assured the public that the combined team of security agencies is taking further steps into the bush to apprehend the perpetrators, rescue the victims and end the menace along the road.

“I assure you that we are going to go deep into the bush to pursue them and ensure they do not perpetrate more harm along the road,” he said.

Acknowledging the presence of Governor Ugwuanyi on the visit and his utmost commitment towards ending the security challenges being posed by the hoodlums along the Ugwogo-Opi road, the GOC assured the public that “these criminals will be fished out and they will be dealt with.”

Maj. Gen. Musa advised members of the public to report to the security agencies whenever there is any incident rather than rushing to social media, stressing that “news items on social media platforms are usually unconfirmed incidents and could send the wrong notion to the public.”

The GOC maintained that Enugu remains a peaceful state notwithstanding the unfortunate incidents along Ugwogo-Opi road, saying: “We are here; we have seen the deployment; this state is peaceful but once in a while you have criminals and I assure you that these criminals will be fished out and they will be dealt with.”

Earlier, Ugwuanyi visited the GOC 82 Division of the Nigeria Army in his office in Enugu where they met behind closed doors before they embarked on the assessment visit to the Ugwogo-Opi road with other heads of security agencies.

Russia Undertakes Nuclear Drills As Fighting Grows Heavier Near Bakhmut

 

Russia’s strategic forces carried out drills Wednesday, including a test launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine, further stoking concerns that a nuclear weapon could be deployed in the Ukraine war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin surveyed the drills carried out by his nuclear-capable forces as Moscow persisted in claiming, without offering evidence, that Kyiv was developing a “dirty bomb.”

On Monday the Russian foreign ministry posted photographs of ostensible nuclear materials on social media it said depicted “Ukraine’s capacities to create the ‘dirty bomb.'”

But on Wednesday Slovenia said the photo came from its own nuclear waste management agency and dated to 2010.

According to Dragan Barbutovski, an advisor of Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob, it depicted smoke detectors.

Heavy fighting on main fronts

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said fighting remained intense in the eastern Donbas region near Bakhmut, a town Russia’s elite Wagner troops have made a concerted push to seize.

“The situation on the front line hasn’t changed significantly,” Zelensky said in his daily address to the nation. “The fiercest battles are in the Donetsk region, towards Bakhmut and Avdiyivka.”

In the main southern front, Russians were apparently fortifying their positions in Kherson city as civilians were evacuating the region.

At least 70,000 people have left their homes in Kherson province in the space of a week, a Moscow-installed official, Vladimir Saldo, told a regional TV channel.

Pro-Kremlin authorities have sought to move residents to the Russian-controlled areas on the left bank of the Dnipro river, as Ukraine troops are expected to make a bid for the main urban area on the right bank.

Saldo banned entry to the right bank area of the region for a period of seven days “due to the tense situation on the contact line.”

“The Russians do appear to be digging in to defend that region,” said Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder on Tuesday.

Submarine missile launch

Western officials downplayed the Kremlin’s war games, a regular event for which Moscow gave foreign counterparts advance warning.

“Under the leadership of… Vladimir Putin, a training session was held with ground, sea and air strategic deterrence forces, during which practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Russian state-run media ran footage of a submarine crew preparing the launch of a Sineva ballistic missile from the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

The drills also included launching test missiles from the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far East.

In calls to Chinese and Indian correspondents, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu continued to press his allegations that Ukraine planned to detonate “dirty bomb” — a crude, small weapon filled with radioactive, biological or chemical materials — which it would blame on Russia.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that in his call with Shoigu, he “pointed out that the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity.”

Cultural damage studied

Meanwhile the UN culture agency UNESCO said it is using before-and-after satellite imagery to monitor the cultural destruction inflicted by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and would make its tracking platform public soon.

UNESCO said it had verified damage to 207 cultural sites in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, including religious sites, museums, buildings of historical and or artistic interest, monuments and libraries.

“Our conclusion is it’s bad, and it may continue to get even worse,” UNESCO’s cultural and emergencies director Krista Pikkat told reporters at a briefing in Geneva.

“Cultural heritage is very often collateral damage during wars but sometimes it’s specifically targeted as it’s the essence of the identity of countries,” said Pikkat.

Earlier this month, Zelensky requested that UNESCO add the historic port city of Odessa to its World Heritage List in a bid to protect it from Russian air strikes.

UNESCO is working with the Odessa authorities to make sure that its main monuments and cultural sites are marked with a blue shield — the emblem used during armed conflicts to denote cultural property that should be protected.

Insecurity: Army Flags Off Operation Golden Dawn in Abia

A map of Abia, a state in south-east Nigeria.

 

The Nigerian Army has flagged off a military operation codenamed Operation Golden Dawn to tackle the security challenges in Abia State.

Speaking during the kick-off of the exercise, the Commander of 14 Brigade Ohafia, Brigadier General Moses Adetuyi, said the Army launched the operation to foster a peaceful atmosphere during the yuletide season as well as during electioneering, across all localities in the state.

According to him, the exercise is to ensure that criminality is reduced to the barest minimum in collaboration with other security agencies.

“The exercise is geared towards training the troops on the security of innocent and law-abiding citizens in the state, especially during the Yuletide season,” he said.

“It is also aimed at testing the conduct of troops during the electioneering activities in preparation for the 2023 general elections.

“It is designed to promote a conducive environment for business and other socio-economic activities for the good people of Abia State during the festive season.

“Additionally, it would feature a number of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities to demonstrate the friendliness of the Nigerian Army in the host communities across Abia State, some of which include medical outreaches and educational support programmes to schools.”

He also asked residents of the state as well as the public to support and cooperate with troops in ridding the state of criminal elements.

On his part, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu charged the army to improve the maintenance of peace and security and always abide by the rule of conduct.

Air Components Operation Whirl Punch Neutralizes Terrorist Leaders In Kaduna

A file photo an Alpha-jet of the Nigerian Air Force used here for illustrative purpose only.

 

The Air Component Operation Whirl Punch on 8 October 2022 based on credible intelligence carried out an air strike at Yadi in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to the Defence Headquarters, during the air strikes, a terrorist kingpin, Ali Dogo, AKA Yellow alongside his fighters were neutralized in a building they were said to be hosting a meeting.

Yellow and his fighters were said to had relocated to Kaduna State following continued bombardment on his location in Niger State.


READ ALSO: Eight Bandits’ Informants Arrested As Police Repels Attacks In Zamfara


Similarly, on the same day, following intelligence of some terrorist leaders and their foot soldiers convergence under tree covers for a meeting in the Northwest of Mando, Kaduna State, the Air Component also bombarded the location neutralizing scores of terrorists leaders and foot soldiers.

The military high command commends troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH and encourages the general public to avail troops with credible and timely information on criminal activities.

PHOTOS: Guards Brigade, Other Security Agencies Collaborate Against Insecurity

 

In line with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Vision which is “A Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Missions Within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”, Guards Brigade in collaboration with other security Organisations and Agencies today 4 oct 2022, flagged off Exercise Enduring Peace 2022 to address lingering security challenges confronting the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and it’s environs.

Flagging off the Exercise aimed at ensuring peace and security within the Federal Capital Territory, the Commander Guards Brigade represented by the Chief of Staff, Guards Brigade, Col Oludele Peter Oyegoke noted that Exercise Enduring Peace is an offshoot of other already ongoing security operations such as Exercise Nut Cracker and G7 which has been on in the Brigade Area of Responsibility.

He added that the yearly operation is aimed at checkmating all security threats capable of making lives unbearable especially as the festive period and the next year’s general elections draws closer.


READ ALSO: Insecurity: Osinbajo Tasks Military On Technology-Driven Solutions 


Col Oyegoke stressed further that for citizens in the federal capital and it’s environs to freely go about their normal activities, without fear of molestation, all hands must be on deck to ensure safety of all.

He therefore charged all participants in the operation to go all out to deny the criminal freedom of operation while also putting into consideration the rules of engagement and self discipline in the use of fire arms.

Earlier in his brief, the Commanding Officer 176 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Joshua Kolawole Adisa said the exercise is to further ensure strong synergy interagency and co-operation among others.

It would also feature intensive stop and search operations along all route within the FCT and it’s environs, adding that the exercise which is expected to last for 3months has troops drawn from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police,the Department of State Service (DSS),and the Nigerian Immigration Service.

Also participating in the Exercise are the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp as well as the local vigilante. The troops has since began clearance operations within Kwali and Abaji Local Government Areas in the FCT.

Major General Ibrahim Ali Inaugurates Crisis Intervention Committee In Southern Kaduna

The Commander Special Task Force Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division Nigerian Army (NA) Major General Ibrahim Ali on Saturday 10 September 2022 Inaugurated a 20 man crisis intervention committee to assist the troops in tackling communal crisis and criminalities in Sanga Local Government area of Kaduna State.

Delivering his remarks, the Commander noted the constitutional responsibility of the security agencies to protecting lives and properties of the citizens which he said is achievable through support and cooperation of the people. He said security is everybody’s business that requires collective efforts of everyone for meaningful development to strive.


READ ALSO: Police Operatives Rescue Three Kidnap Victims In Kaduna, Recover Firearms, Ammunitions


General Ali further revealed that the inauguration of the committee is one amongst many none kinetic measures employed by OPSH to deliver on its mandate of peaceful coexistence and security of communities in its area of operation. He charged the committee members to be just, fair and neutral in discharging their responsibilities.

Addressing the troops, the Commander warned that any personnel found performing illegal duties will face the full wrath of the law. He charged them to always discharge their duties professionally.

Speaking during a visit to the District Head of Sanga, the Etum Gwantu, His Royal Highness, Reverend Joel Galadima reaffirmed the commitment of community leaders towards supporting security agencies.

He said communities in Sanga have recently witnessed tremendous peace as a result of the increased activities of OPSH in the area.

Kidnapping, The Industry Bringing Nigeria To Its Knees

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

It was past midnight when a dozen men armed with AK47s stormed into Mohammed’s home just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja to kidnap the truck driver and his wife.

After being held hostage in a tiny cave deep in a forest for three days, the couple were released when a relative paid the gunmen 600,000 naira (about $1,400).

For the criminals called “bandits” by Nigerians, it was quick and easy money, but for Mohammed, who asked not be identified by his real name, the trauma lives on.

Kidnappings are not new in Africa’s most populous country, where Boko Haram jihadists made worldwide headlines in 2014 when they abducted 276 schoolgirls in the north-eastern town of Chibok.


READ ALSO: Zamfara Security: 43 Victims Freed After Days In Kidnappers Den


But hostage-taking has since snowballed into an industry now largely led by criminals, with authorities seemingly powerless to stop them.

The phenomenon, along with general insecurity, will be major issues in Nigeria’s elections in February 2023 to replace President Muhammadu Buhari.

At least five times more people were kidnapped in Nigeria last year than in both Mexico and Colombia combined — countries notorious for abductions — according to estimates from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

Families and entire communities who pool their savings to pay ransoms are being destroyed, with many hostages afraid or ashamed of reporting their ordeals.

Businesses too are affected, with many spending fortunes to protect their assets.

500 a month kidnapped

Data on kidnapping is notoriously unreliable because of under reporting, but ACLED estimates almost 3,000 people were taken last year.

A senior Western diplomatic source who tracks kidnappings in Nigeria told AFP the real figure could be more than double that, with an average of 500 people a month taken.

Nigeria’s security services, known as the DSS, denied there was a “kidnapping epidemic”.

It “has spread because insurgency has spread”, DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya told AFP, blaming insecurity on the proliferation of foreign weapons and the spread of jihadists outside of their enclaves in the northeast.

Analysts in Nigeria have documented instances of cooperation between bandits and jihadists, but so far have described the links as minor.

One reason for the dramatic rise is a series of mass kidnappings with hundreds of people taken at a time. In one in late 2020, more than 300 boys were taken by bandits from a school in Katsina state.

They were released after a week, but the shocking case was a turning point for many, with some deciding to stop sending their children to school.

Police and other security agencies have deployed anti-kidnap units, but the forested areas where gangs hide are difficult to access let alone control.

The northwest, the most affected region, consists of seven states and is almost the size of the UK.

The authorities say they have tried alternative methods to curb kidnapping, such as registering mobile phone SIM cards to better track their owners.

Lawmakers have also passed a bill criminalising payments to kidnappers, but observers say enforcement will be impossible.

Of the handful of kidnappers who are arrested, most end up in a clogged judicial system where investigations are rarely completed.

And so, every day, gangs “rustle human beings, and nobody cares,” said Murtala Rufa’i, a professor at northern Nigeria’s Usmanu Danfodiyo University, who has studied banditry and lives in the northwest.

‘No rehabilitation’

Former bandit Musa, who asked not to be identified by his real name, said he joined a gang after losing all his cows to rustlers.

“Nobody forced me but when you have nothing… you find yourself hopeless, you end up joining them,” said the 43-year-old from Zamfara state.

For four years, he helped launch reprisal attacks against the cattle rustlers but the violence escalated and he eventually decided to leave the gang.

“For us nothing justifies crime, but for them, it’s just tit for tat,” Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Muslim cleric told AFP in an interview in late 2021.

Gumi has long argued that some of the bandits — like Musa — are driven at first by a sense of injustice, after losing relatives and belongings in old inter-communal conflicts.

For him, a “Marshall plan” for bandits rather than more security could help solve the crisis.

“Bandits have been surrendering and giving up their weapons but… there’s no rehabilitation, no school, no nothing, so they go back, because a man cannot be idle,” he said. “The real bandits are the political class.”

Those who can afford it have stopped using roads and trains and travel only by air, creating a vicious cycle where parts of the country are abandoned to bandits who prey on poorer rural communities.

Many end up selling their homes, belongings or land to pay for ransoms, which for an average Nigerian farmer can be anywhere “between 200,000 naira and up to two million ($4,700),” said security analyst Kabir Adamu of Beacon Consulting.

And it’s not just cash they need to find — sometimes kidnappers also demand food, smartphones, motorbikes or even sunglasses.

When kidnappers target higher status victims such as priests or politicians and their relatives, the ransoms tend to be a lot higher.

In a daring case earlier this year, gunmen kidnapped 72 passengers from a train from the capital Abuja, many of them well-off.

“As of the end of July, 37 hostages had been released for various sums starting from 100 million ($230,000) per abductee,” according to a report by consultancy firm SBM Intelligence.

Abandoned farms

The problem is also worsening food insecurity in the country where already more than 80 million live below the poverty line.

“People don’t go to their farms because of the fear of abduction… The rural economy has been grounded completely,” said professor Rufa’i.

Many rural communities are ruined by repeated ransom payments, or because they decide instead to pay “taxes” to bandits for a promise of protection.

In one case among many, a resident of Yankara village in Katsina state said they had paid bandits 700,000 naira ($1,700) to leave their farms alone, but then another gang attacked them.

In some instances, farms and villages are being abandoned entirely.

“There are areas where 70 percent of the people have been displaced or are unable to farm. This disrupts supply chains, even in (the capital) Abuja,” said Adamu.

Companies in Africa’s largest economy are also affected.

The kidnap threat “is a nightmare”, an executive with two decades of experience in the country told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The impact on business is huge… because of the cost of securing our assets,” he said. “I have some projects guarded by 30 soldiers at night.”

The Nigerian security services said they were “in a hurry to see” kidnapping tackled, in part because insecurity drives away investors.

“The DSS is concerned about the menace of kidnapping and is very committed in stamping it out,” Afunya told AFP.

People should stop seeing “kidnapping as a way of life or as a means of survival,” he added.

But when more than seven out of 10 Nigerians are under 30 and official youth unemployment stands at 42 percent, some become desperate to make money.

And as “the level of poverty and unemployment is on the increase,” Rufa’i said “the possibility of more people joining the kidnappers is very clear.”

AFP/Louise Dewast