Kidnappers have taken over Jalingo, Taraba State capital in North Eastern Nigeria.
What started as a minor challenge about three years ago has gradually metamorphosed into a total siege by the abductors who have continued to raid and take residents hostage for ransom without any hindrance.
While it’s difficult to give the exact number of people kidnapped so far in Jalingo as it’s has become a nightly basis phenomenon, insight intelligence sources revealed that over two hundred people have fallen victim of the barbaric act within just a period of six months.
Several residents, who spoke to this medium on ananimous condition fearing that they will endanger their lives, lamented the unconcerned attitude of the state government and security agencies who looked the other way while the criminals continue to course devastation in the city.
While lamenting, they point to the fact that the criminal have become so daring to the extent that they carry out their heinous act in all parts of the capital city.
“They have dared every one by kidnapping every body they so wish to.Members of the state assembly have been abducted, the deputy governor’ mother his Personal Assistant, Permanent Secretaries, Directors,local government chairman and even security personnel.This is apart from business men lecturers and other low profile persons
We are in very terrible situation here in Jalingo as the government lacks of interest or capacity gives birth to a situation where the entire capital is held hostage.
How can you justified the kidnapping of the Ardo Kola local government chairman last month in his Sabon Gari residence where he was killed which is less than 200 meters from the Police Mobile base and no rescue came his way?”a resident stressed.
Further investigation revealed that while the kidnappers continue to traumatized residents, the state government and security agencies have not been able to lead a clear direction that will counter the criminal.Infact the Taraba State governor has been releasing huge amount of money to pay ransom and secure the release of it’s official abducted.
A Jalingo based security expert who doesn’t want his name mentioned for fear of victimization said available intelligence indices point to the fact that there is no any counter security strategy for the government.
“It’s very clear to the security circle that the state government under the Governor is aloof to the whole situation leaving a very big leadership vacuum in dealing with the precarious situation despite the millions of naira going down the drain as security votes.
In fact I observed that the governor is more interested in paying ransom than leading a process to finding creative solutions to the problems.” the source opined.
Another insider security source hinted that the state security architecture is in a very difficult time as the governor who is the chief security officer of State rarely shows interest in the kidnapping debauchery in the state capital as he doesn’t have time to call for security council meetings because he is always absent from the state leaving the the deputy governor in a helpless position constantly pledging support without the capacity to actualize it.
Residents said the gory picture starring the city in the face is the fact that nowhere and nobody is safe within Taraba State.
Jalingo is no longer safe despite being the state capital and, despite hosting all the paraphernalia of the State actors.
People are being kidnapped on daily basis as if we are living in a jungle where only the strongest survive. It’s a fact now that everyone (in Jalingo) is at the risk of being kidnapped including those who struggle to eat!
Only last night five different people have been kidnapped across Jalingo including an aged mother and nursing woman.
More frustrating according to the people is how the security personnel don’t respond to distress calls leaving victims helpless.
A neighbor of a family that was kidnapped last night told our reporter that their efforts to call the police to rescue their neighbor was not successful as the police only came to the area around 6am claiming that there was vehicle to transport them when the call was made around 1am.
Residents unanimously called on the governor to rally around all stakeholders including political, religious, and community leaders, and chart an inclusive strategy to deal with the problem.
Until something tangible is done, for now Jalingo residents are being consumed by the terrorizing gang of unchallenged criminals who have established a lucrative venture soaking the blood of the innocent population.