Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the solution to the Niger Delta crisis is contained in the report submitted by members of the 2014 National Conference.
The former President also said that the religious crisis will destroy Nigeria if it is not checked now.
He also suggested that a National Equity Commission be formed to handle issues arising from religious crisis.
The former President said “I totally agree with the 2014 National Conference on the need to establish the Religious Equity Commission that will have powers to arrest and prosecute those who contravene the law.”
According to Punch, he said “If, as a nation, we do not kill religious persecution and extremism, then religious persecution and extremism will kill Nigeria.
“The potential danger associated with the level of conflicts going on across the country is so glaring that no sane mind can ignore.”
The former President also slammed security operatives in Nigeria for failing to arrest culprits of religious crisis.
He also cited the case of Souther Kaduna where only one culprit has been arrested since the crisis reportedly started since 1992.
“Your invitation (of the sub-committee) letter profusely highlighted the issues of the killing of Christians in Nigeria, the last major incident being the recent killings in Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State, and I do not need to elaborate on that.
“The challenge is how we stop that from recurring. How do we ensure that Christians and Muslims co-exist peacefully in Nigeria and practise their religions freely without discrimination, molestation and killings?” he added.
GEJ said “The point I want to emphasise by citing these incidents is that my administration had the political will to halt impunity in Nigeria and that is why killings, due to religious extremism, were localised in the North-East with occasional killings in other zones of the North.
“The killings did not spread to the mainly Christian south and I believe that the fight against impunity by my administration was the main reason for this.”
On the Niger Delta region, GEJ said “The people in this region feel that though they suffer from the environmental hazards of the exploitation of the God given resources, they do not commensurately benefit from the exploitation of these resources.
“The greatest stumbling block of these interventionist agencies was lack of continuity, resulting from an over politicisation of projects as each successive management awards new contracts rather than continue with those awarded by their predecessors and as such, the Niger Delta is littered with many abandoned projects with very few completed projects to show for the huge monies spent.”
“Those who knew Akwa Ibom State before the 13 per cent derivation became law will agree that the derivation fund has changed the face of that state, making it almost overnight one of the most developed states in Nigeria. The same is true with other oil producing states though with varying degrees of development,” he added.
The former President also advised against the use of military force to solve the Niger Dela issue.
GEJ said “The military crackdown in the Niger Delta will not end the agitation there.
“It will have the opposite effect of provoking the youth, which will cause them to seek to acquire sophisticated weapons to defend themselves and their communities.
“This may, in turn, lead to secessionist movements and the reincarnation of the Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro-led revolution and the Biafra Civil War. The Federal Government and the international community must work to avoid this.”
Former President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan served as the President of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.