Special courts should be created to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding, and unlawful carrying of weapons in the country.
This formed part of the solutions to the nation’s security challenges recommended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi.
Both men met on Sunday at the residence of the former president in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital to discuss and propose possible solutions to the security challenges in the country.
Suggesting ways to address the issues of insecurity, Obasanjo and Gumi stressed the need for the people, irrespective of their affiliation, to desist from blame game, as well as attributing ethnicity, religion, and region to crimes committed by criminals.
They asked the people to respect one another, show tolerance and accommodation where necessary, as well as condemn criminal acts no matter where it was committed and by whom it was committed.
According to the elder statesman and the Islamic scholar, encouraging more of carrot solution as may be found necessary, sharing information at all levels, and not accepting criminality as a way of life for any individual or group in the country, are part of the solutions to insecurity in the land.
At the meeting, they agreed that banditry, kidnapping, and other crimes that have led to general insecurity were a nationwide phenomenon.
Obasanjo and Gumi also acknowledged that people from various parts of the country and outside Nigeria were involved, although some people were more predominantly involved than others.
They appealed to authorities and the people not to encourage or support criminality, saying the security situation in the country has gone beyond tolerance.
The elder statesman and the Islamic scholar also identified the crisis as a micro-ethnic conflict between the Fulani and many host communities mainly in the North West.
They attributed the remote causes of the crisis to educational and economic disparities, as well as the negative use of religion and ethnicity by deceitful politicians.
Discussions at the meeting focused on the causes, effects, and implications of the various security threats, as well as the reactions by communities, local authorities, state governments, and the Federal Government, as well as authorities in neighbouring countries and nations within West Africa.
At the end of the discussion, Obasanjo and Gumi agreed to continue to work together for solutions for the security of Nigeria and to seek others to join them.
They believe that keeping Nigeria safe and secure for all citizens and foreigners is a task that all well-meaning Nigerians must engage in, separately and collectively.
Thereafter, Gumi extended an invitation to Obasanjo to visit Kaduna State, with a view to continuing the discussion and the former president accepted the invite.