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Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, as well as that of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, paid ransom to kidnappers and robbers.
Obasanjo made the remarks during a speech on Wednesday at his penthouse residence inside the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
He was hosting members of Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu’s Tiv Professionals Group (TPG).
Instead of ransom payments, Obasanjo tasked the government with developing heavy-handed methods of dealing with kidnappers and robbers.
The former President opined that leaders must ensure 2023 birth the emergence of a new federation in Nigeria, saying “otherwise the country may be sliding into ground dissolution.”
“I do believe that whatever else we do we have to make the year 2023 a watershed for Nigeria. The year 2023 should give us the beginning of emergence of a new federation or feeling that the rot continues, and then, we are going to be sliding back to a ground dissolution. God forbid,” the former President said.
The former President also insisted on a “carrot and stick” solution to bringing instability issues to a halt.
“Some people are still reaching out, hoping that lives can still be saved,” he added. However, someone who believes that paying ransom is the only way out is delusory. He’s a fool. This is due to the fact that paying a ransom encourages. However, if you are not going to pay the ransom, you must be prepared to deal with it severely. To deal with it, you’ll need a stick.
“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”