Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said in Maiduguri, the Borno capital on Monday that Nigeria is now winning the war against the Boko Haram insurgency. The former president was in Borno state to inaugurate some projects as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID).
He paid a courtesy call on Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno at the Government House, where he stated that since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, Nigeria seems to have evolved the right strategies to fight the insurgency.
“A lot of water has passed under the bridge in this part of the country. I must not forget to commiserate with all our people in this state and indeed the entire North-east who have been victims of insurgency in the way we have never witnessed it in this country before.
“As I have said with the governor, I do travel a lot in Africa and outside Africa and wherever I have gone in recent times, what people want to know is what and how Nigeria is coping with the situation of insurgency. Today, I think we are not out of the woods yet but it would appear that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“There is no doubt that with the combined effort at the local level, at the state level and at the federal level and even at the community level, our security forces are on the ascendancy over the forces of destruction, the menace and danger of insurgency that we have experienced for almost six years now,” he said.
Obasanjo said Shettima and the entire people of the state have “shown what can be done if people resolve not to give way to evil,” adding that “we just pray for the repose of the souls of those who have lost their lives.”
Shettima on his part, paid tribute to leadership qualities of the former president, insisting that the Boko Haram crisis would not have degenerated this bad if he were at the helm during the outbreak of the insurgency.
He added that should Obasanjo had been in power, the Chibok schoolgirls would not have been in captivity by now, lamenting that it took President Goodluck Jonathan 19 days after the kidnap of the girls to call him on phone on the issue.
He said from testimonies of former governor, the former president was said to be on top of security issues in all the states of the country, and at various times adverted what could have been major security breaches.
He said without the “Nigerianness in you, this country would have been divided along religious lines between 2001 and 2003 when hate brewed from the North to the South over our diversity of faith. Someone else would probably have thought of exploiting the sentiments and division to make political gains ahead of the 2003 reelection but not President Obasanjo.”