Daily Trust (Abuja)

22 January 2013

Nigeria: Obasanjo Has Solution to Boko Haram Insurgency - Shehu Sani

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has the solution to the menace of Boko Haram insurgency in the north, President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Shehu Sani has said.

Speaking with newsmen in Kaduna at the weekend, the human rights activist said the former president had told President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan the way out of the quagmire but that the later refused to implement it.

He said while the government was scouting for solution to end the insecurity in the country, Obasanjo last year singlehandedly visited the families of Boko Haram leaders in Maiduguri to negotiate on how the crisis could be resolved but the recommendations from that effort were abandoned by Jonathan.

"The problem between President Jonathan and Obasanjo actually started with the issue of Boko Haram, when I facilitated a dialogue with the former president. We went to Maiduguri to meet the families of Boko Haram members. They gave out a list of suggestion which they thought if the government had carried out it would have been an end to the violence and crisis in this country.

"We sat down with them in the mosque of the founder, Mohammed Yusuf and they brought out photographs, documents and evidence on why their kins took up arms against the state. President Obasanjo promised them that he is going to do everything possible to convince the government to concede to the issues and see that justice is done. And he wanted to extract a commitment to them that they would work towards ending the violence and bring about peace in this country.

"The same day we left Maiduguri in a helicopter, he went back to Abuja and I knew very well that he was able to deliver such demands from that point it was thrown away. I think the person that has played a key role dismissing that effort was no other than the late Andrew Azazi. Because he, at that time believed that the Nigerian security force would silence the group once and for all.

"Late Azazi misinformed the president to go to South Korea during a nuclear summit and tell the whole world that by June last year that the problem of Boko Haram would come to an end. While actually, they miscalculated, because up till today the insurgency persists. As I am talking to you violence is going on in Kano, Gombe and Maiduguri. I believe that was the beginning of their problems", he said.

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