Jonathan was never committed to defeating Boko Haram

Chidi Samuel

Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President said on Monday that former President Goodluck Jonathan was never committed to ending the insurrection of the Boko Haram terrorists that ravaged the north eastern part of the country during his Presidency. Prof Osibajo made the disclosure in a lecture titled, “The unraveling of Boko Haram and the rebuilding of the North-East of Nigeria” which he delivered at the Harvard University’s Weatherland Centre for International Affairs, United States.

According to the vice president, it was politically convenient for the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party to claim that the Boko Haram sect was sponsored by a northern-Muslim political elite to discredit the government led by a Christian.

In addition he stated, “Secondly, the ruling party also somewhat cynically seemed to have considered that since BH attacks were actually in the heartland of the opposition it was not necessarily an unwelcome development as it could only weaken the opposition.

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“Third, extensive corruption in arms procurement estimated at about $15bn, ensured that the military remained poorly equipped and demoralised.

“A number of well-publicised mutinies occurred and troops involved were taken through widely unpopular court-martials.

“As the government dithered and equivocated BH proceeded to realise the objective of occupying territory and  establishing Islamist states in Nigeria and in the Lake Chad basin.

“In Borno State alone, it occupied and hoisted its flag in 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas that constituted the state. In Adamawa State,  BH took Mubi and some villages in Yobe State.”

Pro Osibajo informed his audience that it was not until the abduction of more than 200 secondary schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok that public outrage against Jonathan’s government’s inept handling of the insurgency reached its peak.

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He added that the government then incurred widespread anger when it denied that an abduction took place and suggested that the opposition had simply invented the story. The situation according to the vice president, has however, changed with the assumption of office by President Muhammadu Buhari as most of the gains of the terror group has been reversed.