Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Not Automatic That Insurgency Must End In December, Says Obasanjo

FORMER president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has observed that the three-month deadline given to the military to end the current insurgency is not inalterable as it is not cast in stone.
He told State House correspondents after leading some Colombians on a visit to President Buhari in his office on Monday that all insurgents need not necessarily be killed before the war against them is declared won.

Asked whether the ongoing war could be won within the presidential deadline, he said: "The president must give a target. When you give somebody a target, you give him something to aspire to, giving him an objective. Target is not cast in stone.
"I believe that if you are talking of getting the upper hand, gradually, we are getting the upper hand.
"We are not there yet but we are getting close. And once we are getting upper hand, we move on and do other things."
The former president assured that if Nigeria could win the civil war, it could also win the war against terror.
He added: "Oh yes. If we won the civil war, we can win this one. But like the Colombian said, we are not waiting until we kill every insurgent to say we have won.
"I believe that once the military has the upper hand, other measures that have to be taken will be put in place.

"There will be measures of socio-economic development, education, employment. All that has to go into the process of eventually winning the war and saying, 'here is Uhuru.'"
He explained that he was at the Presidential Villa to brief the president of the findings on Colombia war against insurgency following a visit by a foundation he leads to the South American country as well as on his assignment in Guinea Bissau given to him by the president.
Obasanjo remarked: "Let me just let you know that I have come to see the President for two reasons. The first one is the one you have just seen. I brought a delegation of those of us who visited Colombia last year under the auspices of a foundation which I am the chairman.
"We went to Colombia to see how all the authorities were handling the issue of insurgency which had been with them for more than 50 years.
"As a result of that visit and the experience we had, a book was produced and I said to them that it will be interesting for us in Nigeria to learn as much as we can learn from the experience of Colombia.

"The second aspect of my visit was the work that both the president and the ECOWAS gave me in Guinea Bissau.
"The last time, we were able to resolve all the issues of getting a new prime minister. This time, we had also been able to resolve the issue of now forming a government.
"If nothing intervenes, I believe between today and tomorrow, a new government will be in place in Guinea Bissau. They have been without government for almost two months."

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