The federal government has described as insensitive, mischievous, offensive and divisive the statement credited to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, that the motive of Boko Haram and ISWAP was for the ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation’ of Nigeria, West Africa or Africa.
It will be recalled that while speaking at the Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) this past weekend, the former President had criticised the government on the security challenges in the country, describing activities of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen as a ploy towards ‘Islamisation and Fulanisation’ of Africa
The federal government’s reaction was contained in a statement released today Tuesday May 21 2019 in Abuja by Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The Minister said it was sad that a man who fought for the unity of Nigeria is now the same person who is attempting to exploit the country’s fault lines to divide it in the tale end of life.
Lai Mohammed said that Boko Haram and ISWAP are nothing but terrorist organisations that do not consider ethnicity or religion while carrying out their senseless killings and destructions.
He said by describing Boko Haram in his inaugural speech of 2015 as “a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of”, President Buhari has laid to rest the misconception that Boko Haram is an Islamic Organisation.
The Minister went further:
“Since the Boko Haram crisis, which has been simmering under the watch of Obasanjo, boiled over in 2009, the terrorist organization has
killed more Muslims than adherents of any other religion, blown up more mosques than any other houses of worship and is not known to have
spared any victim on the basis of their ethnicity. It is therefore absurd to say that Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant have as their goal the ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation’ of Nigeria, West Africa or Africa.”
Furthermore, the Minister said that Obasanjos suggestions on how to end Boko Haram insurgency was coming rather late as President Muhammadu Buhari has moved beyond that level, and had even done more. According to him, it is little wonder that with his efforts, President Buhari has recorded monumental success in degrading the the capability of the sect.
Lai Mohammed said:
“Shortly after assuming office in 2015, President Buhari’s first trips outside the country were to rally the support of Nigeria’s neighbours – Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – for the efforts to
battle the terrorists. The President also rallied the support of the international community, starting with the G7, and then the US, France and the UN.
That explains the massive degrading of Boko Haram, which has since lost its capacity to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks for which it became infamous, and the recovery of every inch of captured Nigerian territory from the terrorists.”
The Minister therefore called on the former President not to allow personal animosity to overshadow his love for a united Nigeria, concluding that it will not be out of order for the former President to retract his statement and apologise to Nigerians.