Bullets and other forms of force alone cannot stop armed robbery, banditry, and other forms of criminality in Nigeria, says former president Goodluck Jonathan.
His remarks were made at the 50th birthday celebration of a former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, on Sunday in Abuja.
A thanksgiving service and Communion were also held during the event.
According to him, tackling crimes and criminology requires top-quality government programs, technology, and other tactics.
Jonathan, however, noted that the day Osita was born was the first time that armed robbers in Nigeria were publicly shot.
On July 31, 1971, one Babatunde Folorunsho, Joseph Ilobo, and Williams Alders Oyazimo, a sub-lieutenant in the Nigerian Navy, were executed in public at Bar Beach
Osita’s 50th birthday celebration shows that he is a special person. Therefore, it is a happy moment for us all. Those close to Osita Chidoka know that he is a blessing to the nation.
“I didn’t know him until I got into politics, went to Abuja as vice president, and took over after losing my first president.
He has lots of talents, he is very talented and very strategic. He is a person who really goes for a lot of things. He is a gift to Anambra, he is a gift to Nigeria, and we wish him well.
The date (here) stands out as a very unique one. It speaks volumes that the day you (Osita) were born was the day robbers were first shot in Nigeria. A very unique concept. Fortunately, you are not an armed robber. The days of shooting armed robbers are gone.
With the cases of armed robbery and other criminal activities going on now, it is clear that bullets alone cannot stop them or other crimes committed by humans.
“We need top quality programs from government, we need technology, we need a lot to stop armed robbery and all forms of crimes, including corruption,” Jonathan said.
While governments were killing armed robbers, others were robbing pockets in the same arena, and that is the kind of society that citizens face today.
Adding to the complexity, he said, is the introduction of the information technology system that now runs the world, thus the need for collective action to stop the criminality trend.