Federal Government has reiterated its commitment towards tackling numerous security challenges ravaging the country by ensuring the safety of Nigerian workers.
The Head of the Special Duties Department in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs Nadia Soso-Muhammed gave the assurance in Abuja, during the one-day ‘sensitisation lecture on the risks of kidnapping, hostage-taking and other security drills’ for the management staff of the ministry.
While stressing the need to educate government functionaries on life-saving measures, Mrs Soso-Muhammed observed that available statistics showed that African countries including Ghana, Mali, Kenya, Cameroon, Somalia, and Nigeria are prone to kidnapping-related threats.
“Nigeria is currently facing numerous security challenges and these threats have gravely undermined its economic development, social progress, political stability, national and human security, as well as peaceful coexistence in the country.
“It is a fact that insecurity in Nigeria continued to restrict access to basic services, and both displaced people and vulnerable host communities require emergency support and other necessary humanitarian assistance.
“To this end, the Ministry whose mandate is to provide assistance for the vulnerable groups in Nigeria no matter the situation has to find a way to provide this succour to the affected people. Hence this training becomes very significant to the staff of the Ministry whose duty is to cater to vulnerable people.
“In recent times Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in kidnapping incidents with reports of several citizens abducted for ransom by bandits and armed persons. Security analysts state that abductions have become a thriving industry for criminals and mischief makers.
“Nigeria is indeed regarded as the arrowhead of operations on kidnapping activities having received half of the kidnapping statistics in entire Africa.
In the bid to address the gravity of security challenges, she averred that Federal Government has articulated a broad policy framework through the office of the National Security Adviser to provide direction, coordination, and sensitization on various initiatives to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.
“It is my sincere hope that this important security lecture would bolster staff personal security awareness as well as improve on their safety proficiency while carrying out their assignment,” Mrs Soso-Muhammed noted.
In his presentation on ‘Hostage and Kidnapping’, Wing Commander Mi Salmanu noted that every Nigerian has the duty of care for family members, hence the need to take necessary safety and security precautions at all times.
While noting no one across the country has not been directly or indirectly affected by the spare of kidnapping and hostage-taking, he urged participants to take necessary safety and security measures when necessary.
In the bid to forestall such ugly incidents against ministry officials while on national assignments, he tasked the Ministry authorities with the need to develop a security policy especially when they represent the Organization in the discharge of their duties across the country.
“Be careful where you discuss your political leaning, reduce visibility, conducting a U-Turn can achieve the same objective; heightened awareness and counter-surveillance – watch if someone is watching you,” he stressed.
He also tasked anyone who falls victim to the kidnappers to desist the following: “Try not to cry, talking to the kidnappers is recommended, provided does not make them more nervous; Explaiàn everything you have on your person; Escape should not be considered very rare circumstances; Escape attempts may lead to injury or death for the hostages.”
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