Former President Goodluck Jonathan says Nigeria’s pursuit of peace cannot be achieved in isolation from the pursuit of justice and other human security needs.
Newsmen reported that Jonathan stated this on Friday in Abuja at the public presentation of a research report titled ‘Terrorism and Banditry: The Nexus’; conducted by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation
Jonathan, who is the chairman of the foundation, said the challenges posed by banditry, terrorism and other associated crimes threatened human essence and the essential values of the nation’s democracy and nationhood.
He said, “Our pursuit of peace cannot be achieved in isolation of the pursuit of justice and other human security needs.
“This is so because peace is the bridge that links poverty to prosperity, reconciles hope with despair and imposes order on chaos.
“There is no doubt that our nation is plagued by many crises and these challenges have continued to threaten our fate and shared destinies.”
He added, “We have lost our loved ones, lost millions of properties and investments because of insecurity.
“The challenges posed by banditry, terrorism and other associated crimes threaten our human essence and the essential values of our democracy and nationhood.
“This is why the GJF considered it apt to undertake this research with a view to engaging the relevant stakeholders towards an improved security.’’
The former president said that the crisis facing Nigeria today required sacrifice and urgency of actions from all stakeholders.
“We must, therefore, show commitment to peace, in words, in action and in all other necessary means,” he added.
“As a leader, I have been privileged to preside over the affairs of this nation for five years.
“ I appreciate the challenges that come with nation-building and the burden associated with pursuing peace and building trust in times of crises,’’ Jonathan said.
He said that the event was organised to engage with relevant stakeholders and proffer solutions and initiate actions that would solve Nigerians common problems.
“This report we are presenting today contains some observations and recommendations on the challenges of banditry and other human security concerns in our nation.
“The report is by no way conclusive and complete in itself; that is why stakeholders have been invited to discuss the way forward and suggest more solutions beyond those put forward in the research,’’ Jonathan said.
The GJF Executive Director, Ms Ann Iyonu, said that the presented report interrogated the trends and drivers of the crises in the North-West.
Iyonu said that the reports also interrogated the impact and implications to internal security whether human or physical.
Speaking, the National Security Adviser to the President, Retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), said intelligence remained the most effective instrument in fighting insurgency and banditry.
The NSA, who was one of the panellists at the event, said that evolvement witnessed globally in the 21 century had made tackling insecurity more difficult, hence the need for intelligence.
“For as long as an agent of government decides to franchise or eliminate the agent of community, then you are depriving yourself of the most important oxygen, which is intelligence from the local community,’’ he said.