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Obasanjo: Buhari, Jonathan paid ransoms to kidnappers

Jonathan N Buhari

A Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari paid ransoms to kidnappers.

Obasanjo made these claims on Wednesday when he played host to members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The ex-president also disclosed that Buhari’s government was not alone in the act, saying former President, Goodluck Jonathan also negotiated with kidnappers although he denies doing so.

“Government has always paid ransoms. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransoms, but they deny it,” he said.

However, Obasanjo asked the government to develop a means to deal with the spate of kidnapping and banditry in the country rather than paying ransom to perpetrators.

The former President equally insisted that fighting insecurity to a standstill 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 ransoms is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransoms, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransoms, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” he added.

The president has publicly condemned the payment of ransom to kidnappers and bandits, warning governors against encouraging them through negotiations.

Meanwhile, neither Jonathan nor Buhari has responded to Obasanjo’s claims.