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What Boko Haram told me in 2011 – Obasanjo

A former President Olusegun Obasanjo Monday revealed what Boko Haram insurgents told him when he met with them in Maiduguri in 2011. He spoke virtually…

A former President Olusegun Obasanjo Monday revealed what Boko Haram insurgents told him when he met with them in Maiduguri in 2011.

He spoke virtually on Monday at the 2022 annual lecture of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) with the theme ‘Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing Insurgency, Banditry and Kidnapping across Nigeria’.

He blamed the insecurity in Nigeria on access to weapons after the civil war.

He said: “We’re not going anywhere until we take national building seriously. Justice and equity. We must build a society where everyone feels he has a stake.

“The insecurity in the country was caused as a result of the ease to access weapons and since then we have been unable to address the issue; it keeps getting worse.

“In 2011 when Boko Haram was just showing its ugly head, I went to Maiduguri to try and find out a little bit more about Boko Haram and to also find out what their objective was apart from being interested in Sharia, they also complained that their followers had no job and, in their effort to getting something legitimate efforts to help their members, in the process, the government started chasing them and gunning them down. 

“What I feared at that time seems to have been happening.

“At that time, Boko Haram had no much external connections, then, the ones they had would be Nigerians who had resources abroad and were helping them.”

Obasanjo urged the older generation of Nigerian politicians to give way for the younger ones to build a prosperous Nigeria.

He said the older generation should collaborate with the younger ones and provide them with the requisite knowledge and experience to transform Nigeria.

He was responding to a comment by Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi that he was in primary school when the Late Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed and Obasanjo directed the affairs of Nigeria.

“We need to have an intergenerational collaboration. Fayemi said he was in primary school when Murtala-Obasanjo were there.

“So, if people of Murtala-Obasanjo are competing with you as governor, then something is wrong.

“Murtala-Obasanjo group should be stepping aside.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation and Murtala’s daughter, Dr Aisha Muhammed Oyewole, pledged the Foundation’s commitment to improving the socio-economic development of Africa in line with the ideals of her late father.

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