Deputy President of the Senate, senator Ovie Omo-Agege said that Nigeria has the lowest rate of Kidnapping, armed banditry and other crimes in the world.
Speaking at a summit in Abuja organised by Global Initiative for African Development, GIFAD, in conjunction with the Pan-African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategic STUDIES, with the theme; “Nigeria’s National Security Interest: Issues, Challenges and the way Forward”, senator Omo-Agege stressed that foreigners hype the insecurity scenario of Nigeria more than what happens in their country.
Omo-Agege who was represented by his senior special assistant on strategic security, Colonel Melvin Usman (retd), said “No doubt, if we take issues one by one, we would certainly find one teething; sometimes lingering problems.
“But the fact remains that many of our detractors as a nation take undue interest in blowing our problems out of proportion. Even in cases wherein their own countries, those vices are worse, they stand on mountain tops to disparage Nigeria while speaking of theirs as pockets of deviant behaviour.”
“A very recent example was the United Nations Rapporteur Agnes Callamard‘s report of violence in Nigeria which unfairly described the country as ‘a pressure cooker of violence.
“Take the issue of security, particularly kidnapping and armed robbery. Recent statistics show that in 2017 in the United States. There were 100 robberies per 1000 population. In England and Wales, it was 127. In France 147, and in “very peaceful” Sweden 87.
“In Nigeria for the same period, there were 3,527 cases of armed robbery recorded in the country (Federal Bureau of Statistics).
“If you compute this figure with a very conservative population of 150 million, what we have is 0.024 robberies per 1000 for the period under review.
“Even if we factor-in a generous margin of error for unreported cases, it would still hover around one robbery per 1000 population.”
“Nigeria, therefore, has far fewer cases of this vice than all these nations given as examples. In the same token, Mexico is acclaimed to be the world’s headquarters of kidnap-for-ransom, followed by the United States.”
“We all are aware that Nigeria has its share of these vices namely robbery and kidnapping. But rather than call them what they are, what we hear from our detractors is “terror”.
“The terror attacks we witness in the North-East, for example, are known for what they are and our armed forces are adequately containing them.”
“What we must avoid is the situation we, unfortunately, presently find ourselves where people seeking political capital dwell inappropriately on these issues. creating further fear and tension among the civil populace.”
“It is very important that we realise when to play politics and when to avoid utterances and actions that have the potential to diminish us as a people.
“The unfortunate thing is that these negative campaigns that blow the vices mentioned out of proportion create so much tension that scares people away from their legitimate endeavours.
“Many farmers, fishermen, traders and all kinds of market people are being threatened off their biddings, with a corresponding threat to food security. In the same manner, school enrolment is threatened.”