…Says ‘I don’t believe in their mission’
From ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
The proposed ceasefire offer by Boko Haram to the Federal Government suffered a setback yesterday, following the refusal of former head of state, Gen Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), to accept the role of a mediator suggested by the Islamist sect.
Buhari said he declined the offer because he was not fully in the picture about the sect’s objectives. Speaking to journalists after the Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting of the Congress for Progress Change (CPC) in Abuja, the former presidential standard-bearer of the party hinged his decision on his ignorance of the main intention of the sect. He stressed that he could not represent a faceless group.
Asked if he would be willing to represent the sect in brokering truce with the Federal Government, Buhari replied: “Well, I think my party has done an excellent job on that. Unless some people don’t want to believe, I don’t know any member of Boko Haram. Secondly, I don’t believe in their cause ordinarily.
If at a stage, I made mention of anything about the sect, it was when I said that there are three Boko Haram. “One was led by Mohammadu Yusuf, whom we knew of in the military. He was a very fine soldier we all knew of but they arrested him and handed him over to the Police. He was a healthy and hearty young man, but they killed him. Again, his in-law was murdered, their houses were razed and the Borno State government compensated them.
All these, we criticised. “The second Boko Haram was a criminal who used to blow up banks and steal money and issue statements as Boko Haram. Then I said that the biggest Boko Haram was the Federal Government itself. This is because it has all the powers to stop those killings. This has paralysed activities in that part of the country. “So, how can I represent the people I do not know?
I don’t believe in whatever they are seeking for. I cannot work for either Boko Haram or government. I do not believe in what they are doing especially, the destruction of lives and property, and the government does not want to intervene to stop all that. With all the military and security, the Federal Government could not stop that.
Why should the Federal Government occupy some areas of the country and victimize citizens in the name of fighting Boko Haram? “This type of thing happened in the Britain during the era of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister when an armed group resorted to killings and destructions. But the British government did not occupy those areas and inflict more injury on its people.
They handled that situation carefully, using the military, other security operatives, unlike what is happening currently in Nigeria. To me, the Federal Government has lost absolute control of the country’s security. “We are optimists and majority of Nigerians believe in the coming together of the opposition parties if the ruling party must be flushed out in 2015.
I challenge the Nigerian elite to go and do some research from 1999 to date and find out what the Federal Government under the PDP has received in money and how they have utilized the excess crude account that have come to the country. With the coming together of the opposition, we are going to disappoint them,” he boasted.
On the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, Buhari said: “This is a challenge I have thrown to the Nigerian people and government. I have said it before that Nigerian people don’t have any idea of governance. They should govern the people democratically.
Of course, the second coming of Obama is another big plus for the people of the United States. We congratulate him. He worked for it, he deserves it and he got it.”