Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said failure to act quickly to stop the Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen crisis has led to an escalation far beyond the capacity of the Nigerian government.
Obasanjo, made the statement during his keynote address on Saturday at the 2019 Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), held in Oleh, Isoko South council area of Delta state.
According to him, Boko Haram insurgency and killer herdsmen could have been handled better to prevent the current situation.
While speaking on the topic, “Mobilizing Nigeria’s human& natural resources for national development and stability,” Obasanjo said both Boko Haram and herdsmen violence were not treated as they should at the beginning.
“They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone. They are now combined and internationalized with ISIS in control.
“It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as, it is now West African fulanization, African Islamization and global organized crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change.
“Yet, we could have dealt with both earlier, and nip them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot.
“And when we woke up to the reality, it was turned to industry for all and sundry to supply materials and equipment that were already outdated and that were not fit for active military purpose.
“Soldiers were poorly trained for the unusual mission, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, poorly led and made to engage in propaganda rather than achieving results.
“Intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials while paying ransoms which strengthened the insurgents and yet governments denied payments of ransoms. Today, the insecurity issue has gone beyond the wit and capacity of Nigerian Government or even West African Governments”.
He continued, “Government must appreciate where we are, summon each group that should make contributions one by one and subsequently collectively seek the way forward for all hands on deck and with the holistic approach of stick and carrot.
“There should be no sacred cow. Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: Traditional rulers, past heads of Service Chiefs (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of paramilitary or organizations, private sector, civil society , community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of States, past Intelligence Chiefs, past heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and nay groups that may be deemed relevant.
“After we have found appropriate solution internally, we should move to bilateral, multinational, regional, co.tinental and global levels. With ISIS involvement, we cannot but go global.
“Without security and predictable stability, our development, growth and progress are in peril. Let me hasten to add that we must be at the appropriate seat at the table of international discourse, deliberations, agenda and action.
“That Nigeria from independence has always been in the forefront of any continental initiative, decision, action or programme has put us in some form of leadership position.