Like civil war, Nige­ria can win terror war – Obasanjo

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

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.”

Photo: NAN

Some of the newly reg­is­tered pupils at Sada Pri­mary School, dur­ing the 2015 en­roll­ment drive cam­paign, in Kankia, Katsina State yesterday.

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