FORMER president Dr Goodluck Jonathan has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a special agency to specifically handle security issues as a way of tackling the incessant growth of banditry and insurgency across the country.
Dr 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, over the murder of his daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunrin, said urgent action was needed. He called on the federal government to employ a new approach in tackling the insecurity in the land.
“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 it 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, so even if you tar all the roads in the country and people cannot move around, then the roads become meaningless,” Dr Jonathan added.
He noted that security challenges had 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. According to Dr Jonathan insecurity came about immediately after the civil war with armed robbery in Lagos and from there, it graduated to kidnapping.
Dr Jonathan added: “The first major kidnapping I describe as commercial kidnapping because some money exchanged hands happened in 2006 when I was 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.
“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 and 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. However, it is getting worse every day and we cannot continue to use the same old method.”
In addition, Dr Jonathan 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.