The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has said that the high level of poverty in Nigeria coupled with failure of leadership, had continued to encourage insecurity in different parts of the country.
Obi, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, expressed hope that if the government could sincerely put measures in place to lift Nigerians out of poverty, by supporting small scale businesses and creating jobs for the youth, security challenges in the country would reduce automatically.
He said people, especially youths, would easily take to crime when they were living in poverty, unemployed and did not know where their next meal was coming from. “But the situation can be turned around with good economic policies that will strengthen the private sector, support business growth and generate employment,” he said.
Obi also lamented what he described as government’s insincere approach in the fight against terrorism. He alleged that the government indirectly encouraged banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and other serious security concerns in the country, by having roundtable meetings with the criminals.
“When the government begins to call bandits and kidnappers to a meeting, then the end to insecurity is probably not in sight. When people are financially rewarded by the government, and handsomely too, for criminal activities, what makes you think others will not join the business,” Obi noted.
The former governor of Anambra State advocated for establishment of security architecture in all levels of government, down to the community level.
“I support the establishment of police force at the community, state, regional and then federal levels. This will help attack insecurity at the grassroots and also give different regions the power to combat security threats in their territories,” Obi said.