Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called for deployment of new technology to confront the insecurity in the country.
He called for the establishment of a special unit similar to that of anti-graft agencies – Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) – to manage kidnapping and terrorism-related issues.
Dr Jonathan spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, where he condoled with elder statesmen Chief Reuben Fasoranti on the death of his daughter, Mrs. Funke Olakunri.
The former president described Mrs. Olakunri’s death as “painful”.
Dr. Jonathan said: “We know we will all die and it does not respect age. But the circumstances of death matters so much. Particularly in this particular case, it is quite a painful incident.
“Every generation of human beings faces problems and that generation must find ways of solving that problem. Every government faces some unique problems.
“Insecurity has been with us immediately after the civil war. That was the first time we experienced armed robbery in Lagos. From armed robbery it graduated to kidnapping.
“The first major kidnapping I describe as commercial kidnapping because some money exchanged hands which happened in 2006 when I was also a governor of Bayelsa State.
“From commercial kidnapping, it moved to terrorism in the North and now, some kind of terrorist attacks all over the country, when people just jump into the road and spray bullets on innocent people; that is terror attack. You have no reason to attack somebody you don’t even know; that is terrorism.
“It is now a major problem to the country and my belief is that the Federal Government working with the state government must design a different approach.
“I was there as a president for some time; security challenges were there with me. I also inherited some. But it is getting worse every day. And we cannot continue to use the same old method.
“As security operatives, the police, the SSS, the armed forces, we must deploy technology and I believe if the Federal Government will need to set up a special unit, just like we set up EFCC and ICPC to handle specific issues of corruption, they will know that their total responsibility is to manage this issue of kidnapping and terrorist attacks on people going on the road or going to the farm.
“We can’t continue that way, it is not just possible, because we can’t talk about managing the economy of this country if people are not safe. Economy is for the people, they must be alive to enjoy infrastructure. Even if you tar all the roads in the country and people cannot move around, then the roads become meaningless.”
Dr. Jonathan’s view, security must be approached from a different dimension. “We cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it,” he said.
The former president recalled that a National Conference where some issues were discussed, especially on security, state and regional police was held in 2014 when he was president.
He said: “A lot of things were discussed during the national conference organised during my time as president. The issue of security, state and community policing were discussed. I always believe that government should look at that report, it was not written by me.
“We should not play politics with serious national issues. If we look at that report, there are recommendations that bother on security and if there is an area that needs to be expanded because I believe everyday new idea comes, it should be updated.
“There is nothing wrong holding a specific meeting to look at the issue of security. I believe the federal and state government having a new approach, deploying technology and having more money to protect our people.”