From Fred Itua, Abuja
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, yesterday, kicked against alleged payment of ransom by federal and state governments to bandits in exchange for kidnapped citizens.
Obi said such practice was dangerous, warning that it would embolden more Nigerians to take to crime, and that only those who have worked legitimately should be rewarded.
Obi spoke at the book launch of Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
“It is not acceptable; instead of doing that, we should create or support small businesses. We need to reward hard work. By paying a ransom, you’re paying people who aren’t productive. People are making money without being productive. People must make money genuinely. It is bad enough that we are borrowing money to do everything. But to also pay people for going into crime is unacceptable. If you’re going to pay kidnappers and grant them amnesty for committing a crime, you’re simply asking everyone to take to crime.”
Obi said he was at the event on dual capacities as representative of the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and as Chairman of the occasion.
He said poverty was a major enabler of crime and that the poor state of the economy had made more citizens poorer, hence, the increase in crime rate.
“If we need to deal with insecurity, let’s start with the issue of poverty. Let’s deal with poverty. The more people have access to sources of livelihood, the more you reduce crime. A man who doesn’t know where his next meal will come from will likely take to crime. Economy is used in fighting crime. You can’t throw people into poverty and expect them not to go into crime.”
Obi described Abaribe as a true legislator who exemplifies what a legislator is globally – lawmaker, law preacher and a law defender.
“Enyinnaya Abaribe is courageous in speaking out when there is injustice, falsehood, marginalization and speaking truth to power, especially in a country where it is a grave offence to do so.”
I know this myself because I know what I go through when I speak out against the ills of government, especially the financial recklessness and political irresponsibility that has pervaded every part of our nation.”
Obi urged the government to implement measures that would combat the increasing poverty in the country, while calling on the leaders to speak out against the ills of the society, especially against insecurity, banditry, increasing poverty and waste in governance.