Saturday 15 September 2012

You cannot win this war; Obasanjo tells Boko Haram

Nigerian Army intensifies training on IW

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, told members of the Boko Haram and their sponsors that they were living in a fool’s paradise if they believed that they could win their current war against the Nigerian state. Obasanjo, who was responding to questions on News Day on the British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC] news programme monitored in Ibadan, particularly declared that they were naive to think that they could turn the into country to an Islamic state.

Describing such mission as an unattainable objective, he said they would soon realise that they were engaging in a futile exercise, in spite of claims that Boko Haram had vowed to fight to the finish.
“People, who know the history of Nigeria, will know that you cannot impose any religion on Nigeria as a whole. The people Boko Haram cannot impose Sharia in the North, where most of our people are Muslims, let alone in the entire country. “By now, they should know that. So, I see a bit of naivety in that objective that they have given to themselves. It is an unattainable objective and we need to win their heart and mind,” Obasanjo stated.
On the declaration that the Boko Haram men had promised to sustain their current hostility against the country until their primary objective was achieved, the former leader subtly dismissed the claim as he saw it as a tall order.

Boko Haram Leader
He declared, “Well, if you are prepared to kill more people, it is like somebody saying we will fight to the last drop of our blood. Now, one doesn’t know whose blood will be the last to drop. How many people will be killed? How many of them will survive at the end of the day? Boko Haram and those who believe in their cause will soon know that yes, it not a war that they can win.”
Nonetheless, Obasanjo listed what he termed internal and external factors that culminated in the birth of Boko Haram.

According to him, they included the failure of leadership in the country, inadequate education in the North and the country generally, coupled with inadequate employment opportunities.
One major external factor he said gave rise to Boko Haram was the fall of the late Libyan strong man, Muamma Gaddafi following the uprising in the North African country.

He said it was no surprise that the world was paying the price now, especially because of the circumstances that surrounded the exit of the Libyan leader from power.
He said the killing of the United States ambassador to Libya and three other Americans by a mob protesting an alleged blasphemous video on Islam, could not be devoiced from the Gaddafi saga owing to the current general instability.

Killed Boko Haram Members
“When the man fell, those that had been trained in Libya during the time of Gaddafi from other countries, moved out with their weapons.With their training, they started wrecking havoc.
The overthrow of Gaddafi has been the result of the killing of US ambassador in Libya; instability, which is the connection. We knew that there is going to be a price to pay because of the way that it all went in Libya. At the end of the day, all of us in Africa and all those who masterminded the way it happened will have to pay the price and we are now paying that price,” the former leader asserted.

Culled from


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