Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fayode Adegoke, has urged Nigerians to stop paying ransom to kidnappers.
The commissioner stressed that the payment of ransom to kidnappers by families of those kidnapped should be stopped, noting that “it is not acceptable”. The payment of ransom, he said is making the nefarious business of kidnapping thrive.
He said this while speaking on TVC’s Your View programme on Wednesday.
Adegoke in December 2023 became the state Commissioner of Police. He replaced Idowu Owohunwa, who was recently promoted to the rank of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police.
Recently, the state’s Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Philip Aivoji, alongside some other party chieftains was abducted by some yet-to-identified gunmen along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Also, in December 2023, the family of a 13-year-old schoolgirl, Miracle Adereti, called on the police to locate the whereabouts of their daughter, who was kidnapped by an unknown gang in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
Miracle was said to have been kidnapped while returning from school, and it was gathered that the kidnappers trailed her to school in the morning and waited till the closing period.
The gang, who reportedly parked a short distance away from the school premises, thereafter abducted Miracle while she and her sister were walking home.
In mid-December, 2023, a popular car dealer known as Ejike Conversion was reported to have been abducted in the Ladipo Spare Parts Market.
Ejike was said to have been taking an inventory of his newly imported goods in front of his plaza when some armed men swooped in on him and his workers.
While his workers fled for safety following the sound of gunshots, Ejike was not so lucky as the armed men attacked him, dragged him into their vehicle, and drove off.
However, speaking on payment of ransom, the Lagos CP said, “The issue of ransom is not good. People should stop paying ransom. It is not acceptable. And it is because ransom is being paid, that is why kidnappers are becoming emboldened.”
When asked about recent kidnap cases in the state and how kidnap cases can be reported, Adegoke stated, “I don’t want to believe all these stories of kidnapping because the one in Gbagada, the one in Ago Okota, were not reported. The only case of kidnap we got was the one in Idimu and we have taken necessary action. They are coming from neighbouring states and we have taken care of that.”
He, however, disclosed instances of hoodlums writing a community and urged that such should be disregarded and reported to the police.
“In Ago Okota and Ajao Estate, toward Christmas, you see people (Alleged kidnappers) writing letters of coming to invade their (victims) house. It is just to create fear or extort money. People should disregard that. Once they have such letters, they should report to the police station,” he said.