A civil society organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, on Wednesday kicked against a bill before the National Assembly seeking to criminalise the payment of ransom for the release of kidnapped persons in the country.
It will be recalled that the Senate on May 19, 2021 considered a bill that seeks to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined, with a 15 year jail term as penalty.
The Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which has scaled second reading during the plenary was sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi.
The representative of the ActionAid Nigeria, Adewale Adeduntan, however faulted the bill when he spoke at the commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2021 in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said: “Do you know what it means to have your children in the hands of these demons and you say we should not pay when the system cannot protect us? It is children we are talking about here, not animals. These are molesters, you cannot allow your children to stay with them for any moment any longer.
“That idea being mooted by the National Assembly that ransom should not be paid, I am saying emphatically that they are joking. We should push the game back to where we should push it to. We should blame the system that cannot protect children. We should blame the system that cannot shield and give adequate protection to teachers.
“Look at what mothers go through at childbirth. Look at what women and fathers go through for them to raise these children. For the sake of giving them a better tomorrow, they are to be educated, and some miscreants go there and pick them like snails. That’s unacceptable and we cannot take that.”