Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

‎Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday suggested that technology should be deployed in fighting insurgents that has been threatening the country in last few years.

Obasanjo who said technology should be used to fight the Boko Haram sects, noted that technology is equally used to cause havoc.

The former president spoke during his 79th birthday celebration held at the Obasanjo Presidential library, Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital on Saturday.

Obasanjo said that if the insurgent groups developed technology to achieve their cause, it’s imperative to adopt the same method in stopping the tide.

Obasanjo, who traced insurgency to lack of fairness and justice in the world, blamed institutions including religious bodies for failing in their responsibilities towards having a safer society.

He said, “The world is interested on what can be done to stem the tide and I think what we did yesterday, we made our own contribution in a way that we believe will serve our country, serve our sub-region West Africa, our Region of Africa and indeed the world we live in.

“I summarized that the solution lies in six areas; at home, in the community, in the Church/Mosque, in the schools/colleges, in the state-local, state and federal government and in the international community. At each of these, we do things that we should not do and we leave undone what we should do.

“Therefore people have or they see perceived injustice or perceived grievances and they try to react but as I said yesterday, when you have to treat violent extremism and radicalization as an issue, then it costs you more, what we should do which will be cost effective, wise and cheaper is to prevent and if we do what we should do at all
those areas, we should be able to prevent.

“One of the things we now have to take seriously is technology because technology impacts on our daily life, it’s built to our homes, it’s in our pocket and if those who wants to do anything to make life unbearable for us in terms of security, then we must also use technology as the antidote and the means by which we can ward off what
they may want to do against us,” he further said.

The former president, however, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has become a toothless bulldog since the regime of the first Chairman of the Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

He wondered what happened to the anti-graft agency during the regime of the pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Nigerians came up with the saying, ‘the fair of Nuhu Ribadu is the beginning of wisdom’.

While advising the government at the center and all stakeholders to look into the situation which befell the agency, Obasanjo said by doing that the‎ activities will not amount to taking a step forward and further steps
backward.

According to him, “honestly, when Nuhu was handling EFCC, he handled it in such a way that people coined the saying that ‘the beginning of wisdom is the fear of Nuhu Ribadu’ and then the thing you will ask is how did we go down? How did we lose that?

“Nuhu Ribadu is still here, he’s still alive, the institution we started together is still there, but what made the institution to
become a toothless bulldog? What? And that’s the matter we have to keep looking at so that we don’t take two steps forward, one step aside and three steps back.”

Meanwhile, ‎former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who donated N25 million to Center for Human Security was represented by the Chairman of Board of Trustees, American University of Nigeria, Akin Kerere-Ekun while the
Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami were also represented.

Ministers of Science and Technology and Transportation; Ogbonnaya Onu and Rotimi Amaechi respectively described the former President as an
institution, a gift to Nigeria and a de-tribalized Nigerian.

Onu said, “Obasanjo is a man who has become an institution, a special gift that God gave to Nigeria. At every time the nation faces challenges, God has used Obasanjo to get out of the problem and there are so many paths to this unique personality.”

The Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio described Obasanjo as a man who loves justice adding that the ruling class believes in his leadership, vision and prophesy.

Akpabio recalled how he defeated 57 Aspirants during the primaries that earned him the governorship ticket in the state and how every stakeholder were bribed to stand against him except Obasanjo.

The Senate President was represented at the occasion by the Senator Representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Senator Lanre Tejuoso.

Other dignitaries at the event included Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; the acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Segun Oni; former Governors of Osun, Cross Rivers and Adamawa States, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Liyel Imoke and Bala Ngilari respectively,
amongst others.