12 September 2017
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday stated that one of his successors, Goodluck Jonathan did not believe that the Boko Haram insurgency was a serious issue.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC in Lagos, he said Jonathan failed to take the insurgency seriously in the assumption that the terror group was devised by the North to stop him from getting re-elected in 2015.
Recalling his visit to Maiduguri in 2011 where he learnt about the grievances of the sect, Obasanjo said he tabled same to the immediate past president in 2011, but Jonathan did not take the matter seriously.
His words, “I went out in 2011 to Maiduguri. I took great risk to find out what is really happening about Boko Haram, do they have grievances, if they have grievances, what are their grievances and I brought all that to Jonathan.
“Jonathan didn’t believe that Boko Haram was a serious issue. He thought that it was a device by the north to prevent him from continuing as president of Nigeria which was rather unfortunate.
“Even when Chibok girls were abducted, it took a while for the government to believe. Now if that is the situation, you can understand why the right attention was not paid to the issue of Boko Haram when it should have been paid.”
The former president also said the insurgency would not end because it was engineered by underdevelopment, unemployment and the frustration of the youths in the North-east.
“Boko Haram will not be over; it started from a position of gross under-development, unemployment, youth frustration in the north-east. So we must be treating the disease not the symptom,” he averred.