Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of paying ransom to kidnappers, saying it is a departure from his earlier preachment.
Buhari had spoken against payment of ransom to bandits and kidnappers, warning governors not to negotiate with criminals.
But Obasanjo, while playing host to members of Tiv Professionals Group (TPG) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Wednesday, said Buhari’s government and that of former President Goodluck Jonathan negotiated with kidnappers, though they deny the claims.
“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they deny it,” he said.
He called on the government to develop a develop a means to deal with kidnappers and bandits as against ransom payment.
The elder statesman noted a long lasting solution to insecurity requires a “carrot and stick” approach.
“Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” he said.