Olu Falae: Buhari gives Police, security agencies marching order

Olu-Falae-360x225President Muhammadu Buhari has given the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase marching orders on the release of abducted Chief Olu Falae.

He condemned in strong terms Falae’s kidnap and directed the other security agencies to take all necessary action to ensure his safe and speedy rescue.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari described as “callous and reprehensible” the kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman.

The President assured Fa­lae’s family, friends and other concerned Nigerians that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure his swift release.

Buhari, who has requested constant updates from the po­lice and security agencies on efforts to find and rescue Chief Falae, also denounced the re­curring incidents of criminal abductions across the country.

Buhari also assured all Ni­gerians that ongoing efforts to significantly enhance security of lives and property will con­tinue and that under his lead­ership, Nigerians, irrespective of status, will no longer be left at the mercy of criminal ele­ments.

Falae was kidnapped in his farm in Ilado, Akure North Lo­cal Government Area of Ondo State on Monday by hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herds­men

Meanwhile, as negotia­tions continue between Falae’s family and his abductors, in­dications have emerged that the family may not be able to pay the N90 million ransom placed on him.

The abductors had on Tues­day reduced the ransom from N100 million to N90 million, but the family could only raise N2 million.

A member of the family who declined to be named said the family cannot afford to pay the N90 million ransom, add­ing that the family and friends of the abducted politician were still meeting on the way forward.

He pleaded with the abduc­tors to release the 77-year-old politician unconditionally, stressing that his safety is vital to the family.

According to him, the fam­ily will continue to negotiate with the kidnappers just as he urged the federal and state governments to assist in secur­ing the release of Falae.

Meanwhile, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the So­cial Democratic Party (SDP) Adamawa State branch have condemned the kidnap and urged the abductors to respect Falae’s age and contributions to nation building and set him free.

Ohanaeze, which spoke through its Secretary-General, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu in Enugu “totally condemns this act of lawlessness and criminality visited on one of Nigeria’s re­vered leaders, Chief Olu Fa­lae.”

Ohanaeze called on the Fed­eral Government to urgently ensure that the abducted for­mer Minister of Finance is released without further delay.

“We are also appealing to all Nigerians who are patriotic to rise up to ensure that Falae is released and allowed to return home safe,” the group said.

Ohanaeze noted that the safety of Falae was of utmost importance to Ndigbo.

The leadership of SDP, described the statement by police authorities that the el­der statesman was abducted by Fulani herdsmen as unac­ceptable. It urged the security agents to intensify efforts to secure his freedom.

The party chairman, Beb­etu, who spoke at a press con­ference enjoined the abductors to release him without further delay and unconditionally.

Also lending his voice to the issue, the lawmaker rep­resenting Numan/Demsa/ Lamurde Federal constituen­cy, Kwamoti Laori, enjoined the Federal Government to work relentlessly towards the release of Falae, declaring that the rate of kidnappings in the country was an indication that it has became a big business.

“We want to implore the President to deploy the same energy used in fighting cor­ruption and insurgency for kidnappers; there should be state of emergency on kidnap­ping,” Laori said.

Justina Obadiah Nkom said Falae’s abduction is a pointer that nobody is safe in the country.

She said SDP members are traumatised throughout the country.

However, the farmers in the state have threatened to wage war against Fulani herdsmen operating in the state.

The farmers, under the ae­gis of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the herdsmen for Falae’s unconditional release.

The farmers declared that they are determined to fight all herdsmen in the state should they fail to release Falae un­conditionally before the expi­ration of the ultimatum.

Chairman of the asso­ciation, Mr Akin Olotu while speaking with newsmen af­ter an emergency meeting in Akure expressed worry on the abduction of the elder states­man.

“The abduction of Chief Falae is unacceptable to all the farmers in Ondo State. If Falae is not released within the next seven days, the farm­ers in Ondo State will take ac­tion that will have a national impact. We should not forget the Agbekoya war in the old Oyo State.

“This is a national issue. If they can kidnap a man like Chief Falae, it means nobody is safe again in Ondo State. That is why we are calling on the government not to be silent on this issue,” he added.

According to him “the ac­tivities of Fulani herdsmen in Ondo state have become un­bearable and nomadic system of cattle rearing in Nigeria is obsolete, it is not in the inter­est of anybody again, it is not in the interest of the herds­men, nor the farmers nor the cattle themselves, so our gov­ernment should do something urgent about this.”

“The herdsmen are now turning to armed robbers, they rape, and kidnap, they are now seriously threatening the lives of the people of our communi­ties in this state and if you re­port to the police, nothing will be done. Now, they have kid­napped one of our elders. We will not take this any longer,” he declared. -The Sun


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