October 18, 2021

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Ex-federal lawmakers want special courts for kidnapping, banditry, others

The Forum of Former Federal Lawmakers Wednesday advocated establishment of special courts for the quick dispensation of justice to tackle kidnapping, banditry, cybercrimes, insurgency and other new forms of crimes.

The ex-lawmakers, in a joint statement, said ethnic profiling of crimes must be criminalized and that hostage-takings and kidnappings for ransom payments must be made unattractive and the death penalty prescribed on all offenders.

They also urged the federal government to end the bloody campaign of secessionists, who, “through blackmail, assassination, violence, incitement, profiling as well as razing down public and private assets, have created panic in the populace.”

They expressed worry over the burgeoning proliferation of arms, including locally made weapons, asking the government to interrogate their sources to block the illegal routes and apprehend the culprits.

“The Federal Government should tackle the duplicitous concealment of arms in imported containers and vehicles plying our highways by criminals and warmongers,” the forum said.

It said ranching policy must be vigorously pursued to encourage sedentary pastoralism as a solution to the persistent farmers/herders’ conflicts.

“All stakeholders must embrace and adopt necessary engagement, education, and cooperation to design peaceful transition and exit strategies for nomadic pastoralism to achieve a permanent solution”.

According to the forum, a timeline to vanquish Boko Haram insurgency, using all viable options on the table, including the deployment of private military contractors, must not be waived aside.