President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered increased kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to trace and bring back the 51 or more kidnapped railway passengers still being in custody of terrorists.
This comes as families of victims of the March 28, 2022 Abuja-Kaduna bound train assault have raised the alarm that the freed Nigerians were mentally unstable, sick, traumatised and hospitalised.
Negotiator for the sufferers, Mallam Tukur Mamu, raised the deteriorating health concerns recently.
Mamu, who doubles as publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald Newspaper, fears that some of the victims in the terrorists’ den might not survive if the Federal Government drags any step longer.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, explained that upon the Nigerian leader’s approval, the government was continuing the two-lane approach – kinetic and non-kinetic – to secure the passengers’ safe release.
The kidnappers had demanded swapping of their arrested children for the captives
The setback, notwithstanding, the statement further explained that government was leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to ensuring freedom of the hostages.
IN a related development, Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) advised government to embrace technological and cybersecurity solutions in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
It noted that GPS tracking, drones, artificial intelligence (AI), digital forensic investigation, lawful interception of electronic communication and social media could be proactively deployed to check insecurity.
The association’s president, Remi Afon, who made the call at the 2022 Cyber Secure Nigeria Conference with the theme, “Cybersecurity: An imperative in tackling insecurity in Nigeria”, observed that criminal elements were proving to be both resilient and adaptive to traditional security techniques and counter-measures, stating that it was about time government took a technological approach to resolving the “overwhelming security challenges.”
He argued that every crime committed – be it terrorism or kidnapping – is preceded by a planning stage, adding that an effective counter-surveillance programme by government would increase the chances of intervening or detecting a threat swiftly.
The CSEAN boss said funding of terrorism, through traditional financial systems or cryptocurrency, could also be tracked provided appropriate tools and actionable intelligence from financial institutions are in place.
Also speaking, National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), observed that the Russia-Ukraine crisis was affecting Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) in Nigeria.
He stated that his office had been engaging local and international partners to optimise the capacity of security and law enforcement agencies for enhanced productivity.