Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Islamic Cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, have called on the Federal Government to establish a special court to prosecute bandits and kidnappers across the country.
They made the call on Sunday in Abeokuta in a communique issued after a closed-door meeting between the Gumi-led delegation and Obasanjo.
In the communique, the due also said that local councils, State and Federal Governments should work together to ensure that out-of-school children were returned to school.
According to the communique, education remains a major factor in tackling insecurity.
The communique stressed that special courts should be created to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding and unlawful carrying of weapons.
In the communique, Obasanjo and Gumi added that security remained the responsibility of all Nigerians, saying. “we must not, advertently or inadvertently, in words, action or inaction encourage or support criminality”.
The communique added that hardened criminals must be hard hit with stick, saying that unlawful carrying of arms should be very seriously punished.
It appealed to the Federal government to take up the issue seriously within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to work for a regional solution.
“Every community must be encouraged and empowered to stand firm and strong against criminals.
“There should be protection and reward covertly for whistleblowers against criminals living in the community,” the communique read.
It urged all well-meaning Nigerians to support government and be involved in finding solutions to insecurity by desisting from blame game, ethnicising and regionalising these crimes.
The communique acknowledged that people from within and outside the country were involved, although some people were more predominantly involved than others.
It advised the Federal Government to be proactive, secure necessary and updated intelligence to deal with organised crimes, as well as have a common policy for the nation.
The communique further hinted that Gumi has extended an invitation to Obasanjo to visit Kaduna with a view to continuing the discourse, an invite that the latter has graciously accepted.
“We conclude that to keep Nigeria safe and secure for all Nigerians and others living in Nigeria is a task that all well-meaning Nigerians must engage in, separately and collectively,” it added.
The Gumi eight-man delegation include Prof. Usman Yusuf, Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Suleiman Gumi, Suleiman Yakubu and Buba Mohammed.
Also at the meeting on the side of the former President were Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta, Oba Babajide Bakre; Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria in Ogun and Tunde Akin-Akinsanya.
The others were Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sa’addallah Bamigbola and Former Chairman of the Police Equipment Fund, Mr Kenny Martins.