Former President Goodluck Jonathan spoke on Friday in Abuja, at the public presentation of a research report entitled ‘Terrorism and Banditry: The Nexus’, published by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF).
The former president, who said he understands from experience that nation building can be challenging, added that Nigeria’s pursuit of peace cannot be achieved if there is no security.
“Our pursuit of peace cannot be achieved in isolation of the pursuit of justice and other human security needs. This is so because peace is the bridge that links poverty to prosperity, reconciles hope with despair and imposes order on chaos,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“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 with a view to engaging the relevant stakeholders towards improved security.
“As a leader, I have been privileged to preside over the affairs of this nation for five years. I appreciate the challenges that come with nation building and the burden associated with pursuing peace and building trust in times of crises.”
On her part, Ann Iyonu, the executive director of GJF, said peace is key to stability and development in Africa.
“Overlapping security crises, from kidnapping to extremist insurgencies, in almost every corner of the country threatens the nation’s development and its corporate existence as a nation,” Iyonu said.
“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 buttresses the point that growth and development are relative to the conscious effort it makes at promoting peace and security.”