Kidnapping: Sierra Leone Police And Military Must Act Now!
Of much concern to the general public and the security sector is the issue of alleged kidnappings taking place in Sierra Leone.
Kidnapping is a very serious issue and this is the first time that such a matter is reaching such high precedent.
There is not a week that one alleged kidnapping is not heard in one part of the country. The security sector including the Police, Military, ONS and other stakeholders must take this issue very serious and embark on robust measures to curtail this ugly development.
Kidnappings are notorious in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Mali in Africa and also in Latin America and in other places around the world. But in Sierra Leone, kidnappings are very uncommon and unheard of.
Against this background, the security sector must be proactive and ensure that whosoever is caught in kidnapping matters must be publicly named and disgraced and punishment meted appropriately so that others would desist. The law should bite hard anyone involved in such atrocious acts.
In recent days, there was a report about an alleged kidnapping of a number of virgin girls from a school for ritual purposes. Some very big names were called and some arrests were made. Fortunately, it appears that police officers arrested few people and the matter is under police investigation.
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In Kingtom few days ago, a schoolboy was discovered bound and gagged. He had been caught by some men who tied him up and took him to the cemetery supposedly for ritual sacrifice. Some vigilant youths took notice of the strange movements and rushed to the scene. Police have so far questioned one man suspected to be the kidnapper alongside a vehicle used in the attempt. Police have released a strep report on this issue.
This is why the Military should come in to assist the Police in unravelling this kidnap issue because this is becoming a very serious headache for parents because they are not always around their children.
Like the manner in which President Bio took the issue of gender-based violence so seriously by setting up a special court to try those involved in such crimes, he can also do something equally robust to try those accused of kidnapping.
Police and Military officers must start checking all vehicles and questioning the passengers onboard to know whether they are in the vehicle by their own volition or under coercion. Those in the habit of begging lifts from unknown drivers must desist from this habit because you do not know whether the driver is a kidnapper or a ritualist.
Parents and guardians must warn their children not to accept lifts or gifts from strangers. School authorities must daily warn their students or pupils about the dangers of accepting or begging free rides, lifts or gifts from strangers.
It is also advisable for Police to set up a Toll-Free Line (twenty-four-hour basis) to report cases of kidnapping.
In as much as the Police have put out a sitrep on issues of kidnapping; this goes to show the seriousness of the matter. Every Sierra Leonean must therefore be on the lookout and ensure that they report any suspected or real case of kidnapping.