I Can’t Understand Boko Haram Phenomenon – Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has said he cannot understand the Boko Haram phenomenon.

This is as he wondered how Boko Haram members are difficult to locate in Borno which he thinks has no hiding place.

Atiku spoke on Sunday when he and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, appeared on Channels Television’s People’s Town Hall Meeting.

He said, “I still cannot understand why we should have Boko Haram. You see, I served in Borno State when it was in the North-East, and as a Customs officer and I was patrolling the entire North-East, so I am very conversant with the vegetation and with the border areas. I still cannot find a place in the Borno areas where anybody can hide and cannot be seen. I cannot understand honestly, the Boko Haram phenomenon.

“Sometimes when returning from Europe, 30 feet above, I could see a man walking in Borno State, so where is the place to hide? To the extent that they say there is a place called Sambisa forest. I have been there. I didn’t see a forest. It is just shrubs here and there.

“So we have deployed the Nigerian military which used to be one of the best in the world. They have fought, you know, a number of the international arena and they have excelled and here we have deployed them with their might and everything and we just could not eliminate Boko Haram. So I am puzzled. So maybe when I get there, I will understand, but honestly, I cannot understand the Boko Haram phenomenon.

“Everything is there. Politics is there, business is there, security, everything. Of course, the solution is leadership, strong leadership to deal with all these interest groups within the military and outside the military.”

When asked about his position on militancy if it arose again in the PDP administration, Okowa said with appropriate leadership, there would not be a recurrence of such in the South-South.

He said, “I believe that once you provide the needed governance, it is unlikely that militancy will return. You first need to ask what led to that. People felt ignored. People felt excluded from governors, they were not seeing the infrastructure. Their children didn’t find the space to get properly educated, to get access to justice.”

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