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Ex-Police Service Commission Boss blames Telecom Operators’ Incompetence for Upsurge in Kidnapping



By Praise Chinecherem

Former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Chief Simon Okeke has blamed rising cases of kidnapping in the country for the incompetence of service providers and other stakeholders in the telecommunication industry.

He said it was indictment on the stakeholders to claim expertise in their fields when kidnappers could comfortably abduct their victims and negotiate for ransom without being located.

Speaking to our Correspondent on phone, Okeke regretted that the situation had made kidnapping lucrative as those who called themselves guru in telecommunications appear confused watching hoodlums have their way undisturbed on daily basis.

He said, “Someone will be kidnapped and the kidnappers call their victim’s family, negotiate for so much money and will never be located. It is an indictment on those who claim to be experts. I feel disappointed that this is going on in Nigeria. I don’t know about other countries. 

“Those that are experts on security issues should do more work on kidnapping and negotiation for ransom. Once they are able to identify the kidnappers during their negotiations and deal with them, kidnapping will certainly reduce.”

Okeke however commended Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo for the various security strategies he had deployed to save lives and property in the State.

“Security is costly and financial resources are required to secure lives and property. I think Governor Soludo is trying. He has tried to raise money from private individuals who have responded  comfortably.

“A lot of security challenges are going on especially about those unknown gunmen or whatever you call them. I’m satisfied with what the Governor has done so far, trying to dislodge the unknown gunmen in forests, bushes and all the enclaves where they are. 

“I must tell you that in a little way I give the Governor my own advice including the Commissioner of Police, Director of State Service (DSS) and the Commander,  Onitsha Garrison. I do speak with them and we discuss from time to time. They are all very much concerned in security of the State, ” he said.

Reacting on the 2023 presidential election, Chief Okeke described the Muslim-Muslim ticket the All Progressives Congress (APC) had adopted as anachronistic and senseless.

He said that for the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu to have overlooked multi religious nature of Nigeria was a great error that would not be tolerated by the Christians.

He was of the opinion that Tinubu should have recognized Muslim-Christian pair as had been the case in the past in the issue of presidency. 

He cited past presidents ranging from Abubakar Tafawa Belewa with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through the Muslim military heads of State and their Christians Chief of Army Staff, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Alex Ekwueme, Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar, Musa Yar’Adua and Ebele Jonathan up to Muhammadu Buhari and Prof Yemi Osibanjo. 

He expressed disappointment to Tinubu’s action as, according to him, no leader of Nigeria had ever led with same faith in the history of the country, saying that it had always been either Muslim-Christian of Christian-Muslim.

Okeke said it appeared Tinubu had bought into the idea of Islamizing Nigeria as feared by some Christians.

“It is unthinkable. It is an impunity that cannot be tolerated. We will see how far he can go. It is absolutely not acceptable and very anachronistic. It will not work, ” he insisted.

The Ex-Police boss fury berated the APC and the PDP for not considering an Igboman for a presidential candidate. He traced the leadership history of Nigeria since 1960 and asserted that no Igboman had ever been elected president of Nigeria.

Every Nigerian, he said, had expected that it would be the turn of an Igboman to become president this time but regretted that the Igbo were schemed out from the major political parties which he said made Mr Peter Obi to defect from the PDP to join the Labour Party.

He noted that Obi left when he saw the handwriting on the wall.

“He decamped from the PDP to join LP. And soon as he joined the LP, he was unanimously accepted in the East, North and West, all over the country. He is a movement now. My advice to Igbo and indeed all Nigerians is that you already know where to put in your vote. You should be “Obidient” as the saying goes, ” he said. 

Chief Okeke also advised Mr Peter Obi to be security conscious wherever he goes.

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