A former chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Mzamber Waziri has described how banditry has dented the image of the country in the comity of nations.
She spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the public presentation of four books written by a former ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Denis Ukume.
Waziri said: “We never knew this (banditry) in those days, we were our brothers’ keepers and we helped each other. People left their compounds open and nobody stole from them. Now we hate each other, there are hate speeches, people kill each other without provocation.
“Do you believe that nobody has invaded Nigeria, and Nigerians are killing themselves? Nigeria will outlive all of us.
“You’re in school, they kidnap you, they take you in the forest for ages, your parents are, maybe, carpenters, they don’t even eat three square meals a day and they say they should pay.
“Where do they get the money to pay? They rape women, they kill and how do you want people to rate Nigeria? It is about image and image is perception.
“If I perceive you like a bad man, I will keep away from you. If it is a country, I wouldn’t want to go there and do business.
“So we have destroyed our country and it is about greed, corruption and every vice and that is why I said we should go back to where we used to be,” she said.
Ukume advised those agitating for secession to join hands with the Federal Government in building a strong united Nigeria.