Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told the Federal Government not to keep paying ransom to bandits but rather to deal with them heavily.
Obasanjo, who said both the governments of President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan paid ransom to bandits, spoke on Wednesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State when he played host to members of Tiv professionals group led by Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu.
Obasanjo said he does not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and bandits, saying it encouraged criminals indulging in the act, adding that it requires a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.
He said: “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.
“Government has always paid ransom.
“Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration).
“They paid ransom, but they denied it.”