Former Anambra Governor Peter Obi has described the payment of ransom to kidnappers as unacceptable, saying it would escalate crimes.
Obi made this assertion while answering questions from reporters on the sidelines of a book presentation by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe: Made in Aba, A life of coincidences” in Abuja.
He noted that security is local and urged the Federal Government to provide jobs for Nigerians to curb criminal activities.
Obi, while responding to a question on the rising spate of kidnappings across the country and payments of humongous ransom, said: “Security is local. It starts from the community. Then the local government and state before the Federal level.
“We can’t have a situation where everything is controlled from the centre. We need to redesign it. It can’t work with the way it it right now.
“We need to deal with insecurity, let’s start with the issue of poverty. Let’s deal with poverty. The more people have access to sources of livelihood, the more you reduce crime.
“A man who doesn’t know where his next meal will come from will likely take to crime. Economy is used in fighting crime. You can’t throw people into poverty and expect them not to go into crime.”
On payment of ransom to kidnappers, he said: “It is not acceptable. We need to reward hard work. Instead of doing that, we should create or support small businesses.
“By paying a ransom, you’re paying people who aren’t productive. People are making money without being productive.”
On the call to grant amnesty to bandits, Obi said: “Like I said, people must make money genuinely. It is bad enough that we are borrowing money to do everything.
“But to also pay people for going into crime is unacceptable. If you’re going to pay kidnappers and grant them amnesty for committing a crime, you’re simply asking everyone to take to crime.”