Proceeds of kidnapping being used to finance terrorism — ONSA

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TНЕ coordinator, National Counter in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NCTC-ONSA), Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa (reta), has said proceeds of kidnapping is being used to partly finance terrorism.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Musa made this disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja during the ‘Anti-Kidnap Multi-Agency Fusion Cell Media and Communication workshop’, organised by ONSA, in collaboration with the British High Commission.

While explaining that kidnapping for ransom is also identified as one of the means of funding terrorism, he contended that “carnage unleashed by kidnappers in affiliation with terrorist groups all over the world leading to loss and disruption of lives and properties, is a major concern, hence the need for collective efforts in advancing measures to check the threat.”

Musa stated: “Evidently, the menace requires concerted and sustained efforts by every citizen, government at all levels, international community and the media which of course is the fourth estate of the realm.

You will agree with me that proceeds of kidnap for ransom enterprise have continued to serve as a platform for financing terrorism not only in Nigeria but across the Sahel.”

He also disclosed that the workshop was pertinent to the success of the government’s effort to curtail the menace of kidnapping, stressing that the media would help to build the kind of relationship the NCTC-ONSA desired on the efforts of security agencies in the protection of lives and properties in the country..

“In an increasingly interconnected world, where information spreads at an unprecedented pace, the media has the power to either amplify or mitigate the impact of security-related news events. The consequences of inaccurate or sensational reporting can be detrimental to public trust, exacerbate fear and anxiety, and even hinder counterterrorism efforts,” Musa averred.

He said it is imperative for the government and the media work to collaborate in order to establish a framework of synergy and standardisation for reporting on security related matters, expressing optimism

such collaboration would not only enhance the accuracy and quality of news reporting, but also contribute to national security.

Programme Manager, National Crime Agency UK, Mr Chris Grimson, said the workshop was a fall out of a number of agreements between Nigeria and the UK to create a multi-agency kidnap fusion cell, adding that the purpose of the workshop was to identity and explore what was needed to create the fusion cell or whatever it turns out to be.

One of the facilitators of the workshop, Rear Admiral Leye Jaiyeola, said “the fusion cell workshop was designed to come up with a joint decision model to allow for an effective multi-agency use and conflict resolution”.

He said that kidnapping had become a major threat in Nigeria, hence the need to develop an agreed national kidnap fusion and coordination mechanism.
“Our focus is to make sure that we maintain a strategic national kidnap operation posture, get all the agencies involved in doing it, so that we will be able to put our feet at the right spot and come up with a set of principles so that the commanders will be able to deliver, “Jaiye-ola remarked.

He posited that “we have looked at coming up with standard operating proce-dure, looked at developing the doctrine itself and this session of workshop is the session that involves relating with the public so that they will build trust and confidence in the security.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop has participants drawn from the media, military, security agencies, ministries, departments and agencies.