- Former President Obasanjo and Sheikh Gumi had a closed-door meeting in Abeokuta on Sunday, April 4
- After the meeting, the two respected leaders released a jointly signed communique on Nigeria's state of insecurity
- Among other recommendations, the leaders advised the Buhari government to set up special courts to try bandits and other criminals
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a prominent religious leader in the north, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, have released a joint statement after their closed-door meeting on Sunday, April 4, in Abeokuta.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng, the Nigerian leaders recommended special courts to try bandits, kidnappers and anyone caught carrying arms illegally.
Legit.ng gathers that they also urged the federal government to take the issue of insecurity up with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The leaders also advised the Nigerian government to reward whistleblowers who provide helpful information regarding criminals.
According to the leaders, the Nigerian government must encourage and empower every community to stand firm and strong against criminals.
The leaders advised the government to come up with a security campaign with the slogan: Security is the responsibility of all Nigerians.
They also advised the federal government to rehabilitate bandits who are willing to surrender.
“Wean those who are ready to be weaned out of the bushes and crime, settle and rehabilitate them, give them skills, empower them and let them have employment,” Obasanjo and Gumi said in the joint statement.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Sheikh Gumi said the armed bandits terrorising the north may not drop their arms if they are not sure of their safety.
The cleric who has recently met with the bandits in a bid to persuade them to drop their criminal acts said this during a virtual event hosted by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.
“If you don’t show them they’re safe in the larger society, there’s no way they can leave their weapon. And that’s why we asked for amnesty for them just like we had in the Niger Delta," Sheikh Gumi was quoted to have said.
In another related report, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has accused the regimes of Generals Aguiyi Ironsi, Yakubu Gowon and Obasanjo of laying the foundation of Nigeria's current security challenges.
The monarch who is the chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria said it was the former leaders who relegated the traditional institution to the background with no constitutional role.
Legit.ng gathers that the Sultan who was represented by the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, said this in Abuja at a meeting with the Senate committee on constitution review.