Former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has claimed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and that of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, paid ransom to kidnappers and bandits.
Obasanjo stated this while speaking on Wednesday at his penthouse residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
He was hosting members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.
Obasanjo charged the government to develop means of dealing with kidnappers and bandits heavily instead of ransom payment.
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 equally insisted that it requires a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.
He said “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it.
“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”