The Federal Government of Nigeria has responded to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent statement on Boko Haram and herdsmen.
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in its response on Tuesday described OBJ’s statement as deeply offensive and patently divisive, adding that it was tragic for a man who shed his blood to keep Nigeria as one to make such divisive comment in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation like Nigeria.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, who issued a response to the former Nigerian leader’s statement, noted that such indiscreet comments are way below his (OBJ) status.
He also advised OBJ not to allow his personal animosity to override his love for a united Nigeria, adding that he could still withdraw his statement and apologies to Nigerians.
Naija Buzz had few days ago published a report where former President Obasanjo had during a session at the seventh Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, in Delta State, alleged that the aim of Boko Haram and herdsmen was to Islamise Nigeria.
OBJ specifically stated that the agenda is now West African Fulanisation, African islamisation.
Mr. Lai on behalf of the Federal Government said; “since the Boko Haram crisis, which had been simmering under the watch of Obasanjo, boiled over in 2009, the terrorist organization has killed more Muslims than adherents of any other religion, blown up more mosques than any other houses of worship and is not known to have spared any victim on the basis of their ethnicity.”
“It is therefore absurd to say that Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant have as their goal the ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation’ of Nigeria, West Africa or Africa,” he added.
Lai further noted that President Buhari described Boko Haram as a godless group who are far away from Islam in his 2015 inaugural speech. Therefore, OBJ’s statement describing the terrorist group as an Islamic organisation is insensitive and mischievous.
The minister also noted that OBJ’s comment on the security issue now far beyond the wit and capacity of the government or even West Africa was coming late because President Buhari had since asked for assistance outside the shore of Nigeria.
“Shortly after assuming office in 2015, President Buhari’s first trips outside the country were to rally the support of Nigeria’s neighbours – Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – for the efforts to battle the terrorists,” the minister said.
“The President also rallied the support of the international community, starting with the G7, and then the US, France and the UN.
“That explains the massive degrading of Boko Haram, which has since lost its capacity to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks for which it became infamous, and the recovery of every inch of captured Nigerian territory from the terrorists,” he added.