Obasanjo: I told Jonathan about Boko Haram’s grievances but he didn’t believe it was serious

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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said that immediate past president Goodluck Jonathan did not nip Boko Haram insurgency in the bud in its early days, hence the big problem the country is facing now.

“We did not do what we should have done when we should have done it. We left it to become a very very intractable problem,” Obasanjo said in an interview with BBC on Sunday.

“I went out in 2011 to Maiduguri. I took great risk to find out what is really happening. Boko haram, do they have grievances, if they have grievances, what are their grievances and I brought all that to Jonathan. Jonathan didn’t believe that Boko Haram was a serious issue. He thought that it was a device by the North to prevent him from continuing as president of Nigeria which was rather unfortunate.

Even when Chibok girls were abducted, it took a while for the government to believe. Now if that is the situation, you can understand why the right attention was not paid to the issue of Boko Haram when it should have been paid.

Boko Haram will not be over. It started from a position of gross under-development, unemployment, youth frustration in the north-east. So we must be treating the disease not the symptom,” Obasanjo said.

Obasanjo has also said that Biafra agitators have grievances and he does not blame them for seeking self-determination. He however, said that Biafra is not the answer, adding that the anwer is for the country to work as it should be.


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