Create special agency to tackle banditry, insurgency ― Goodluck Jonathan

Jonathan, Fasoranti, Olakunrin
Former President Jonathan signing the condolence register of Funke Olakunrin at Reuben Fasoranti’s house in Akure

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a special agency or unit to specially handle security issues as a way of tackling banditry and insurgency in the country.

Jonathan who was in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to condole with the leader of the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure over the murder of his daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunrin, called on the Federal Government to employ the new approach in tackling the insecurity in the land.

The former President said “the issue of security must be approached from a different dimension, we cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it.

“The Federal Government needs to deploy new technology and I believe if the Federal Government will need to set up a special unit, just like we set up EFCC and ICPC to handle specific issues of corruption.

“They will know that their total responsibility is to manage this issue of kidnapping and terrorist attacks on people going on the road or going to the farm.

“We can’t continue that way, it is not just possible, because we can’t talk about managing the economy of this country if people are not safe.

“The economy is for the people, they must be alive to enjoy infrastructure. Even if you tar all the roads in the country and people cannot move around, then the roads become meaningless.”

He noted that security challenge has been in the land for a very long time and defied all solutions but said the government must find a way of putting an end to the problem.

“Insecurity has been with us immediately after the civil war. That was the first time we experienced armed robbery in Lagos. From armed robbery, it graduated to kidnapping.

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“The first major kidnapping I described as commercial kidnapping because some money exchanged hands which happened in 2006 when I was also a governor of Bayelsa State.

“From commercial kidnapping, it moved to terrorism in the north and now some kind of terrorist attacks all over the country, when people we just come out of the road and spray bullets on innocent people that is terror attack. You have no reason to attack somebody you don’t even know, that is terrorism.

“It is now a major problem to the country and my belief is that the federal government working with the state government must design a different approach.

“But every generation of human beings faces problems and that generation must find ways of solving that problem. Every government faces some unique problems.

“I was there as a president for some time, security challenges were there with me, I also inherited some. But it is getting worse every day. And we cannot continue to use the same old method.”

Jonathan however, threw his weight behind the call for National Conference by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying every stakeholder must stop playing politics with national issues.

According to him, a number of issues were discussed and recommended during the 2014 National Conference, urging the Federal Government not to throw the whole recommendations into the trash bin.

He said there is nothing wrong to hold a new conference to look at the issue of security, inject new ideas that will help to tackle insecurity and bring peace to the land.

“There is nothing wrong holding a specific meeting to look at the issue of security. I believe the federal and state government having a new approach, deploying technology and having more money to protect our people.

“In 2014, when I was a sitting president, we had a national conference where a number of things were discussed. The issues of security, state and regional police were discussed.

“I always believe that if the government look into that report because it was not written by me, so we should not play politics with the issue of national issues. If we look into that report, they are recommendations.

“A lot of things were discussed during the national conference organised during my time as president. The issue of security, state and community policing were discussed. I always believe that the government should look at that report, it was not written by me.

“We should not play politics with a serious national issue. If we look at that report, there are recommendations that bother on security and if there is an area that need to be expanded because I believe everyday new idea comes, it should be updated.”

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