The kidnapping of elder statesman Dr Ali Shettima Monguno, penultimate week, by terrorists was most disgusting. While he was leaving Jummu'at Friday Mosque at the Mofoni Ward area of Maiduguri, he was taken forcefully into a car amidst a hail of gunfire.
What did the outlaws want from a 92-year-old man? By that action, the Nigerian terrorists -- Boko Haram disowned them in this case -- have probably set a new world record as kidnappers of the oldest victim.
After the kidnap, they contacted his relatives and demanded that some of its members that were being held in police custody should be released. The police and other security agencies started a manhunt for the kidnappers and the victim. The state governor, Kashim Shettima, did all that was possible to secure the release of the elder statesman; whether the ransom demanded was given or not is still not clear.
There were also several appeals by people from all over the country for his release. The terrorists did not listen until three days later when they dropped the old man at Marte, about 140 kilometres from Maiduguri, in the late hours of May 6.
The terrorists and other criminals all over the country have, by attacking the First Republic minister, sent the message that no one is safe in Nigeria. They sent another ominous sign on Friday, May 10, when they abducted the wife, daughter and driver of Supreme Court justice Bode Rhodes Vivour.
Apparently, such wicked acts indirectly led to President Goodluck Jonathan's declaration of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states this Tuesday. As a nation, we cannot continue to allow things to descend into a state of anarchy. The state must take full responsibility to protect life and property. The nation's security agencies must sit up.
In spite of the huge amount of money spent on defence and security, there has been no relief. By now, the security agencies should be able to decipher the game plan of the terrorists and work out an effective counter-plan to eliminate this menace or, at least, reduce it to the barest minimum.
Dr Shettima has been in the forefront of the group, Bornu Elders, which has constantly maintained that the presence of a huge security force in the north-east will not help the peace process. He advocated dialogue with all the stakeholders.
In spite of his position, he fell victim to the insurgents. Who knows who might be the next victim? That is why good people must collectively begin to bear responsibility for these tragedies. They should be vigilant at all times and work hand in hand with security agents to ensure that this evil is stopped.
We sincerely sympathise with the elder statesman and his family over his ordeal and congratulate him on his release.