JONATHAN GIVES QUIT NOTICE TO ROBBERS, KIDNAPPERS
President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed that his government will work with the National Assembly to enact a law that will make the country too hot for criminals.
Jonathan made the pledge at the town hall meeting held at the Imo State Government House in Owerri, where he listened to the feelings and suggestions of the people concerning government programmes and projects.
He said that confirmed armed robber should continue to own properties all over the world. Such properties, he said, should be confiscated and handed over to government as soon as such persons are convicted.
'We are totally committed to confront the security situation frontally. The security challenges crawled in gradually as if it would not be too harmful and government failed to take frontal attack as at that time until it became a cancer now that needs major surgical operation and a probably a radiotherapy to cure it.
'We are totally committed to ensure that no part of this country will be allowed to be a sanctuary for criminals – robbers or kidnappers.
And we are facing it from different angles. Presently, the bill is with the National Assembly, which has spoken to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to add other provisions to make it stronger than the original bill we sent that is the bill to handle terrorism. This is a new form of security challenges. Bombs, kidnapping are all terrorists' actions that are now with us. So we need a very strong legislation. When I get to Abuja, I will meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to quickly conclude that so that we can have a strong law to prosecute anybody arrested.
'There is no way a kidnapper or armed robber should be allowed to continue to own properties everywhere in the world. Once convicted, everything should belong to government as is done in other countries. 'We are also working on ways of combating this modern crime, working on getting modern gadgets to monitor these criminals weather they are in their houses or forests especially those involved in kidnapping, we must have the sophistication to attack. That is why the police is acquiring helicopter gun ships to be positioned around the country and this will be acquired yearly. Our target is to get a sizeable number by December so that anywhere there is a kidnap or armed robbery, the police would respond with 20 minutes and the criminals would be arrested.
'The era where robbers operated unchallenged for two three hours should be over. We will no longer accommodate that kind of situation. Under 20 minutes, with our helicopter gun ship we should arrest the criminals', he said. The President also assured that the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would soon be resolved. He sought the cooperation of the people of the state to recognize the governor as leader of the state. He assured of plans to stimulate the economy and make it conducive for the private sector, which will ginger employment.
On the concerns of erosion, Jonathan assured that the budget would be increased as against the practice in the past where the Ministry of Environment was made to rely on ecological fund. He also assured of plans to rectify the dysfunction in the education sector, disclosing that UBEC would be modified to accommodate new concept for education government is planning for better service delivery in the primary and secondary schools.
Important dignitaries present include governors of Bayelsa, Abia and Enugu, the Minister of Labour, Women, Works, Water Resources and Interior and notable politicians and the business community of the state.