2 February 2013

Nigeria: Obasanjo - Blame Jonathan for Country's Security Woes

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has insinuated that President Goodluck Jonathan has not done as much as he should to curb insecurity across the country, particularly with regard to the Boko Haram crisis.

Obasanjo, who spoke in an exclusive interview published in the February issue of the pan-African magazine, New African, said Jonathan should be held responsible for the deteriorating situation caused by the Islamic sect.

"If the president is the chief security officer of the country and there is a security problem, where do you go for the solution? And if that solution is not coming from the chief security officer, who has everybody and can mobilise everybody, inside and outside to get a solution, then, nobody else should be blamed but him."

The former president echoed similar sentiments a few weeks ago when he made reference to how he had sent soldiers to Odi, in Bayelsa State, after some policemen were killed in the community. But he would take a somewhat contradictory stand only some days later when he told the CNN that a military response cannot resolve the campaign of violence launched by Boko Haram about four years ago.

In a wide-ranging interview the former general also challenged claims made by Nigerian literary giant, Prof. Chinua Achebe, regarding the country's civil war in the 1960s.

Obasanjo rebutted claims that successive Nigerian administrations had marginalized the Igbo ethnic group within the country.

"Maybe he is making those remarks because he is not living in Nigeria. If he were living in Nigeria, when I was the president of this country, an Igbo lady was my minister of finance, and Igbo man was the governor of the Central Bank. An Igbo man was one of the military service chiefs. The permanent representative to the UN then was also an Igbo person. What more do you want? For someone to say the civil has not ended, 40 years after its conclusion, that person is living in the past."

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