Former President Goodluck Jonathan has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari appears to be winning the war against Boko Haram because the insurgents aremore sympathetic to the All Progressives Congress (APC)led administration, than the group was to his own administration.
He made the revelation in the new book, titled “Against the Run of play: How an incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria,” written by the Editorial Board chairman of ThisDay Newspapers, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Jonathan, who insisted that his government did its best as far as the fight against Boko Haram was concerned, further noted that while the insurgents saw him as an “infidel, “ they see Buhari as one of “their own.”
He also alluded to the fact that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has no moral authority to blame him for not ending the Boko Haram insurgency, when the former president, too, had no answer to the Niger Delta militancy throughout the eight years he spent as the country’s president.
“What is happening now with regards to Boko Haram was the same thing that happened to me regarding Niger Delta militants in 2007.
“I did my best and so did the military, although I can understand if there is greater commitment to the fight now than in the past.
“In my time, Boko Haram said they were fighting an infidel. There is a feeling of ‘our man is there now’ that you cannot discountenance,” Jonathan said.
On Obasanjo’s charge that the immediate past President never took the Boko Haram fight serious, Jonathan again said “I recall that immediately he won the election in 1999, before he was even sworn in, Obasanjo had visited Niger Delta to hold meetings.
“Meanwhile, the first time I would be meeting Asari Dokubo, Ateke Tom and other militants was years later in Aso Rock at a meeting (Obasanjo) called to find a solution to the problem at a period I was Deputy Governor in Bayelsa state. Despite all those efforts, Obasanjo failed to resolve the problem until late Yar’Adua came with the Amnesty Programme. Should we then hold Obasanjo accountable for the Niger Delta problem?
“The allegation that I didn’t care (about the Chibok girls) was false. Immediately I was alerted, I called the military and security chiefs for a briefing after tasking them to get to the root of the matter. Information was initially hazy and there were things that did not add up.
“More than 200 girls were reportedly abducted from different hostels and then put on an open trailer that had no railings.
“In the same trailer, according to reports, Boko Haram fighters loaded foodstuff. The girls were said to have been abducted by people claiming to be soldiers. The military people were on ground and I relied on the information I could get from them. Of course I cared and charged them to find the girls, but every effort (we made) was twisted against me to score cheap political points.
“When the military and security chiefs demanded for more time to deal with insurgency, the reasons were genuine. As at February 2015, it would have been very difficult to vote in Gombe, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. But the moment all arms and ammunition that had been ordered finally arrived, the military was able to use them to degrade the capacity of Boko Haram to the level in which they posed no threat to the election,’ Jonathan, who insisted he did his best as far as the fight against Boko Haram was concerned, declared.