Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has asked ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar not to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the raging insurgency.
At his campaign outing in Abuja at the weekend, Atiku, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in 2023 presidential election, had expressed surprise over the continued existence of Boko Haram.
But speaking at the 11th edition of the ‘PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023) in Abuja, Mohammed told Atiku to direct his questions to the PDP.
He said: “Let me quickly react to the statement credited to His Excellency, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who has reportedly expressed surprise at the existence of Boko Haram.
”The former Vice President was quoted as saying he could not honestly understand the Boko Haram phenomenon, and wondered why Boko Haram continues to operate.
”Well, I think His Excellency didn’t need to look far to get the answers to his questions. He should simply ask his party, the PDP, under whose watch the Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009. For six years until 2015, when our administration assumed office and inherited Boko Haram, the PDP more or less nurtured the insurgents to the monster they later became.
“Alhaji Atiku should ask his party why it allowed Boko Haram to operate freely, bombing cities, motor parks, schools and other soft targets unrestrained. Alhaji Atiku, who was then residing in Abuja before porting to his new abode in Dubai, should ask his party, the PDP, while it allowed Boko Haram to bomb the police headquarters, the UN Complex, a shopping mall and motor parks in Abuja with so much ease.”
Mohammed said contrary to the assumption of Atiku, the nation’s military has curtailed Boko Haram insurgents.
He added: “His Excellency may want to know that today, thanks to our patriotic troops, military objectives have almost been achieved in theNorth East, the home region of Boko Haram, thereby creating conditions for Stabilization Operations to take place.
“Despite the very large Joint Operational Area, Boko Haram Terrorists have been cleared from most of their strongholds while remnants are being restricted to the Tumbus/island around the Lake Chad that are difficult to access.
“The former Vice President may want to know that both kinetic and non-kinetic activities employed by the military have seen the terrorists surrendering in droves, thereby freeing large spaces for normal socio economic life to resume.
“The good news this year is that a bumper agricultural harvest is assured, as farmers were able to carry out extensive farming, which has not been possible since the beginning of insurgency/terrorism in the North East.
“While on the campaign trail and throwing political jabs, we advise His Excellency Alhaji Atiku to note the popular idiom that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”