Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, have asked the Nigerian government to settle and rehabilitate bandits who are willing to surrender.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Gumi and some religious leaders met with the former President in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital on Sunday.
At the end of the meeting, both men issued a joint statement on what they discussed.
They urged the Nigerian government to take the issue of insecurity within ECOWAS in order to seek a regional solutions.
The statement read, “Federal government must be proactive, secure necessary and updated intelligence to deal with organised crimes and have common policy for the nation. It is not solving the problem when one state goes for negotiation and molly-cuddling of criminals and another one goes for shooting them. Nor should one state go for ransom payment and another one going against.
“Education is one main key to solve the problem in the long run but it must start now. The 14 million children that should be in school and are out of school must be put in school with local authorities, state governments and federal government working together.
“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.
“The hardened criminals must be hard hit with stick. Unlawful carrying of arms should be very seriously punished.
“Federal government should take the issue up seriously within ECOWAS to work for a regional solution.
“Every community must be encouraged and empowered to stand firm and strong against criminals.
“Special courts should be created to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding and unlawful carrying of weapons. Let the slogan be: Security is the responsibility of all Nigerians.
“We agree to continue to work together for solutions for the security of Nigeria and to seek others to join us as we widely circulate our joint statement. To this end, Sheikh Gumi has extended an invitation to Chief Obasanjo to visit Kaduna with a view to continuing the discourse started today and Chief Obasanjo has graciously accepted.
“We conclude that to keep Nigeria safe and secure for all Nigerians and others living in Nigeria is a task that all well-meaning Nigerians must engage in, separately and collectively. Both of us resolve that we would not relent in our efforts. The delegations on both sides acceded to this statement. We agree to meet again in due course to re-examine progress and situation of security in Nigeria.”