- More prominent Nigerians are speaking against the government's continuous stance to keep negotiating with bandits
- While some have accused the government of pampering the criminals, others say the action will embolden the criminals even more
- For Peter Obi, a former governor, the move represents economic stagnation for Nigeria as the country ignores its intellectuals for bandits
Former Anambra state governor Peter Obi has frowned at reports of the government paying bandits ransom to free those abducted by the criminal gangs.
Obi a former vice presidential candidate, said such actions by the government are inimical to the economic growth of Nigeria.
He noted that while the government is comfortable paying bandits, the authorities have refused to pay those contributing to the economy like lecturers, researchers, and intellectuals.
Obi decried the increasing level of insecurity across the country, with banditry and kidnapping breaking new frontiers, adding that the situation was worsened by the government’s treating of insurgency as a legal business.
According to him, such a position by the government was emboldening the criminals.
The Nation reports that Obi made the comments at the launch of a book written by the first Nigerian female professor, Professor Stella Okunna.
“How do we go and negotiate and pay somebody, a bandit, when we have not paid those who’re working?
“We are owing those who have legitimately worked. And we are negotiating and paying those who have stolen kids. It is a criminal system. It is important we walk away from it.
“Lecturers are owed. How do we compensate those who have not contributed anything to the economy? The economy is not productive, and that’s why it is failing.
“So, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals are called to a meeting, but professors are not called to any meeting. May God help Nigeria.”
Similarly, Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, has lamented that Nigeria is currently facing a crisis triggered by mounting insecurity.
Tinubu made the comment at the 8th Day Firdaus Prayer of the first civilian governor of the state, Late Alhaji Lateef Aremu Jakande, held on Friday, February 19 in the Ilupeju area of Lagos
He stated that the country is experiencing kidnapping, banditry, and all other forms of social vices which are indices of crisis.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, on Tuesday, February 23 declared that the ultimate agenda of armed bandits kidnapping people in northern Nigeria is to destroy the country.
Chairman of NGF and governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made the statement during some governors' solidarity visit to Niger governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, in Minna over the recent abductions in the state by the armed criminals.
Governor Fayemi stated that what is happening in the northern part of the country is terrorism, adding that there was no other term to describe the constant acts of banditry and kidnapping recorded in the north.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.