Obasanjo: Nigeria needs miracle to subdue Boko Haram in 6 weeks

Obasanjo: Nigeria needs miracle to subdue Boko Haram in 6 weeks

Saturday, February 14, 2015 1:09 pm

Boko Haram child soldiers learning to aim guns

Boko Haram child soldiers learning to aim guns

Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed as unrealistic the time frame given by Nigeria’s security chiefs to subdue Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s north east.

Obasanjo who took part in Nigeria’s civil war, declared that with his experience in security matters,it will take only God’s miracle to achieve what the security chiefs said they will do in just six weeks.

The security chiefs had told Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the elections scheduled for February because they were going to be engaged in a massive operation against Boko Haram beginning from today.

However, what has been seen so far is the formation of an 8,700 regional force to combat the insurgency, with Chad as the arrowhead of the war. Nigeria’s military continues to draw criticisms for not showing enough fighting spirit, enough resolve to combat Boko Haram terrorism.

And the six weeks is already counting.

President Jonathan at a cocktail for ambassadors in Nigeria on Friday expressed doubts about whether pacification of Boko Haram held territory would be completed in six weeks.

While he believed that Adamawa and Yobe state would have been fully liberated by then, he envisaged a limited success rate in Borno State, the real epicentre of the Boko Haram atrocious activities.

“If at all they cannot clean up the three states, at least two states will be recovered completely and more local governments recovered even from the remaining state. So that at least elections could be conducted,” he stated.

This period (of extension) will give them the opportunity to clean up the three states,” said Jonathan.

He boasted that Nigerian forces will recover “completely” territories being occupied by the insurgents in Adamawa and Yobe states.

“And even in Borno state, the headquarters of Boko Haram, even if we don’t take over completely, at least 70 percent of that state should be free for elections to be conducted,” he said.,

About 8,700 troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon are joining Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram Islamists.

When Obasanjo was told about Jonathan’s denial that he was not privy to the decision of the security chiefs not to provide security for the general elections, Obasanjo said: “He is reigning and not ruling.So who are those hiding somewhere and ruling this country?”

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