Like civil war, Nigeria can win terror war – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that if Nigeria could win the civil war, it can also win the ongoing war against terrorism.
Obasanjo said this in an interview with State House correspondents yesterday after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on his delegation’s mission to study Columbia’s efforts in the fight against that country’s largest rebel group, FARC.
The former president also stated that the country was getting close to defeating the terrorist group.
According to him, it is not until all the insurgents are killed that Nigeria can be said to have won the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Obasanjo, who was responding to a question on whether Nigeria could win the war against Boko Haram, said the war could be said to have been won when the military had the upper hand and other measures were put in place.
He said: “Oh yes. If we won the civil war, we can win this one. But like the Columbian said, we are not waiting until we kill off every insurgent to say we have won. I believe that once the military has the upper hand, other measures that have to be taken will be put in place. There will be measures of socio-economic development, education, employment. All that has to go into the process of eventually winning the war and saying here is Uhuru”.
Asked if he believed that war could be won within the three-month deadline given by the president, Obasanjo said: “The president must give a target. When you give somebody a target, you give him something to aspire to, giving him an objective. Target is not cast in stone. I believe that if you are talking of getting the upper hand, gradually, we are getting the upper hand.
“We are not there yet, but we are getting close. And once we are getting upper hand, we move on and do other things.”
On why he visited Buhari, Obasanjo said: “I’ve come to see the president for two reasons. The first one is the one you’ve just seen. I brought a delegation of those of us who visited Columbia last year under the auspices of a foundation which I’m the chairman... We went to Columbia to see how the Columbian authorities were handling the issue of insurgency which had been with them for more than 50 years. As a result of that visit and the experience we had, a book was produced and I said to them that it would be interesting for us in Nigeria to learn as much as we can learn from the experience of Columbia.
“The second aspect of my visit was the work that both the president and the ECOWAS gave me in Guinea Bissau. The last time, we were able to resolve all the issues of getting a new Prime Minister. This time, we had also been able to resolve the issue of now forming a government.”
Asked how he was enjoying his retirement, Obasanjo said: “I am enjoying it wonderfully well. Otherwise, I will not be here with you.”
Some of the newly registered pupils at Sada Primary School, during the 2015 enrollment drive campaign, in Kankia, Katsina State yesterday.