By John Ikani
Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan says Nigeria cannot attain peace in isolation of the pursuit of justice and other human security needs.
Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this at the public presentation of a research report titled ‘Terrorism and Banditry: The Nexus; conducted by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) on Friday, in Abuja.
Mr. Jonathan, who doubles as Chairman of the foundation, said the challenges posed by banditry, terrorism and other crimes were a threat to Nigeria’s democracy and nationhood.
“Our pursuit of peace cannot be achieved in isolation of the pursuit of justice and other human security needs,” Jonathan said.
“This is so because peace is the bridge that links poverty to prosperity, reconciles hope with despair and imposes order on chaos.
“There is no doubt that our nation is plagued by many crises and these challenges have continued to threaten our fate and shared destinies.
“We have lost our loved ones, lost millions of properties and investments because of insecurity.
“The challenges posed by banditry, terrorism and other associated crimes threaten our human essence and the essential values of our democracy and nationhood.
“This is why the GJF considered it apt to undertake this research to engage the relevant stakeholders towards an improved security,” he added.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) special envoy also revealed that his foundation considered it apt to undertake the research with a view to engaging the relevant stakeholders towards improved security in the country, citing that all stakeholders must show commitment to peace, in words, in actions and in all other necessary means.
He said the crisis facing Nigeria today required sacrifice and urgency of actions from all stakeholders who must “show commitment to peace.”
GJF Executive Director, Ms Ann Iyonu, said the report proffers strategies and actions required by various stakeholders at both national and sub-national levels to address the challenges of internal security; terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
“Overlapping security crises, from kidnapping to extremist insurgencies, in almost every corner of the country threaten the nation’s development and its corporate existence as a nation.
“As a foundation, we recognise that the existence of peace, security, stability and governance is germane in the quest for achieving sustainable development on the African continent.
“A look at the development pattern across the ages and the social standing of nations buttress the point that growth and development are relative to the conscious effort it makes at promoting peace and security,’’ Iyonu said.