Nigeria’s former leader Olusegun Obasanjo has stirred the hornet’s nest once again: he said terrorist groups in the garbs of Boko Haram and cattle herders were organised to Islamise Nigeria, West Africa and Africa.
Obasanjo, who ruled the country both as a military dictator and later as elected president, stated his position in a paper entitled “Mobilising Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability” at the second session of the Seventh Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese in Isoko South LGA of Delta State, on Saturday, May 18.
The challenges of Boko Haram and herdsmen have grown beyond what Nigeria alone can tackle following the groups’ collaboration with the Islamic State West African province, the former president said.
“It is no longer an issue of a lack of education and employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as; it is now West African Fulanisation, African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change,” he stated.
“Every issue of insecurity must be taken seriously at all levels and addressed at once without favouritism or cuddling. Both Boko Haram and herdsmen acts of violence were not treated as they should at the beginning.
“They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone. They are now combined and internationalised with ISIS in control.
“We could have dealt with both earlier and nipped them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring any serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot. And when we woke up to the reality, it was turned to industry for all and sundry to supply materials and equipment that were already outdated and that were not fit for active military purpose.
“Soldiers were poorly trained for the unusual mission, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, poorly led and made to engage in propaganda rather than achieving results. Intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials while paying ransoms which strengthened the insurgents and yet governments denied payment of ransoms. Today, the security issue has gone beyond the wit and capacity of Nigerian government or even West African governments.”
Missiles and praises from all corners of the country have been directed at Obasanjo since then, as the news trended on social media.