How to effectively end kidnapping, banditry, across Nigeria — Obasanjo

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Obasanjo denies plan to float 'new political party' ahead of 2023 elections

Says: *Older politicians must step aside for young leaders to take over affairs of the nation

*FG, States should tackle twin menaces of out-of-school children, youth unemployment

*Nigeria can’t forge ahead without prioritising nation-building

…As Governor Kayode Fayemi advocates for a new social compact between govt and the people as a panacea to Nigeria’s security challenges

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on older politicians to step aside but work closely with younger leaders in powerful positions to fashion ways to tackle Nigeria’s insecurity.

Obasanjo, who made the call when he spoke at the 2022 Murtala Mohammed Foundation Annual Lecture in Abuja on Monday, stressed that the continued violence and insurgency across the country required urgent attention.

This is even as Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state called for a new social compact between the government and the rest of the society to secure the citizenry.

The theme of the event was ‘Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing Insurgency, Banditry and Kidnapping Across Nigeria’

Speaking, Obasanjo insisted that tackling Nigeria’s security challenges must begin from the roots to secure a permanent solution,

According to him, until the twin menaces of out-of-school children and youth unemployment were resolved, every other approach to tackling the country’s precarious security situation would remain a cosmetic affair.

Giving a historical perspective to the security challenges in the country, the former president said: ”Nigeria’s insecurity started immediately after the civil war, because of the ease with which people could have access to weapons, and we have never come out of it since then. The situation has grown from bad to worse.

“In 2011, when Boko Haram was showing its ugly head, I went to Maiduguri to find out a little bit more about Boko Haram and what their objective was. The insurgents said they were interested in Sharia, but they also complained that their followers had no job, and in their efforts to do something about getting legitimate income to help their followers, the government started chasing and gunning them down.

“What I feared at that time seems to have been happening because, in 2011, Boko Haram had not much of external connection. In fact, the intermediary who was helping me to reach out to them felt maybe 10 to 11 per cent external connection they had at that time. And that external connection would be Nigerians who have some resources abroad.

“My fear was; could we be able to get them away from Al-Qaeda and other international terror organizations? We seem not to have been able to do that. Today, Boko Haram and those who have come to work with them are making the matter much worse than it was 11 years ago.”

Culled from Vanguard

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