17 November 2012

Nigeria: Northern Coalition Faults Obasanjo's Calls for Assault on Boko Haram

Members of the Coalition of Northern Patriots have faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo's assertion that the Goodluck Jonathan administration was weak because it did not confront the Boko Haram menace the same way he handled the violence in Zaki Biam in Benue State and Oddi in Rivers State during his tenure.

Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, Ali Abacha and Engr Ibn Ahmed Mohammed, chairman and secretary of the group, said it was unfortunate that Obasanjo was advocating, yet again, the "callous destruction of the innocent citizens and their property as a mark of strong leadership."

The group said it wondered how Obasanjo could take pride in what had remained a stain in the human rights record of the nation.

It warned that any attempt by Jonathan to toe Obasanjo's lines would be construed to mean "government's declaration of war against the Muslim North; the consequences of such action will no doubt affect the corporate existence of Nigeria negatively."

The coalition said the calling of truce by the Boko Haram was a testimony of the workability of the approval of the present administration's bid to resolve the crisis.

"A critical assessment of the situation will show that one cannot place the problem the nation is faced with in Oddi and Zaki Biam on the same platform with the challenge of Boko Haram. It will be thoughtless and irresponsible for anyone to suggest to the president to apply the tactical destruction of Oddi and Zaki Biam on the entire North or the North-East," the group cautioned.

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