It is a fact that insecurity in Nigeria continues to restrict access to basic services, and both displaced people and vulnerable host communities require emergency support and other necessary humanitarian assistance.
To this end, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, whose mandate is to provide assistance for the vulnerable groups in Nigeria, has held a sensitisation training for staff of the ministry on risks of kidnapping, hostage taking and other security drills.
The Head of Special Duties Department, Mrs Nadia Soso-Muhammed, in her address said the training became necessary due to the activities of the ministry in different parts of the country where the staff are exposed to dangers of insecurity.
Mrs Muhammed who was represented by Assistant Head of the department, Mrs Dinatu Wuyah, said the program was aimed at providing the necessary orientation tools to ensure the safety and protection of the Management Staff of the Ministry.
“More so, the Nigerian Government has recognized the gravity of challenges that insecurity has posed to national progress and economic development, etc., and has articulated a broad policy framework through the office of the National Security Adviser to provide direction, coordination, and sensitization on various initiatives to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.
“It is my sincere hope that this important security lecture would bolster staff personal security awareness as well as improving on their safety proficiency while carrying out their assignment.”. She said.
Also speaking, the principal partner, Conflict, Security and Development Consult Limited, Wing Commander Musa Issa Salmanu (rtd), said the first hour of kidnap is usually the most critical, advising kidnap victims to always obey the kidnappers and keep calm to overcome the situation.
“There is no guarantee that a kidnap victim will be released alive as the kidnappers take extra care to evade arrest or being exposed. Victims are advised not to panic, but to obey the instructions of the captors. Do everything you are told without antagonising them and you will possibly be released alive if negotiations are successful and ransom paid,” he said.
In his closing remark, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Humanitarian Affairs and Development Partners, Mallam Musa Bungudu, commended the ministry and facilitators for effectively delivery.
Mallam Bungudu suggested that the training should also be extended to the junior staff in the ministry, National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, and all other relevant stakeholders in the humanitarian affairs sector.
Reporting by Zainab Khalil; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade & Annabel Nwachukwu