Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How I would have handled Boko Haram, by Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday said if the Boko Haram insurgence had erupted during his term in office, he would have ended the serial killings by adopting what he described as “carrot and stick” approach as he did with the Niger Delta militants.

Obasanjo, spoke on Tuesday in a special Hausa programme of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which was monitored in Maiduguri, Borno State, the home base of the radical Islamic sect.

He said: “What I will do to bring an end to the serial killings and bombings in the northern states, was the adaptation of the carrot and stick approach on the Niger Delta militants, where I invited 35 different leaders of the militants from the region and listened to all their grievances against the Federal Government and their traditional leaders, whom they alleged had been conniving with the latter.”

According to Obasanjo, the carrot would include addressing “poverty and unemployment” in the North, while the stick could be in the form of dialogue and “massive intelligence gathering” by the security agents to root out perpetrators of the alleged serial killings and bombings.

Meanwhile, the family of Mohammed Baba Fugu has noted that Obasanjo’s statement on the Boko Haram sect and his visit to the late Babakura Fugu on September 15, 2011 have caused more havoc and devastation to their members.

Yakolo Baba Fugu, the younger sister to the late Babakura told the BBC that Obasanjo’s alleged statement that he had no regret on the death of her brother was very unfair, inconsiderate and painful to the entire members of the Fugu family.

According to her, the former president’s visit created nothing, other than sadness and pains.

“Obasanjo’s visit to Maiduguri has no impact on our lives. We thought after his visit to Maiduguri, we would have roof on our heads. But the whole thing has turned out to be a terrible encounter with the former president. Our family members are now in a worsening situation. Babakura died and left behind 10 children from two wives and all of them are squatting with members of the larger family.”

But Obasanjo maintained that his visit to Fugu’s family was a fact-finding one on the Boko Haram revolt in Borno State.

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