Like Buhari, Atiku dismisses Boko Haram, says there’s no forest in Sambisa, just shrubs here and there
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed the claims that Boko Haram insurgents are difficult to curtail.
Reminiscence of the manner President Buhari dismissed the insurgents when he was a presidential candidate in 2015, Atiku said it was unbelievable that the Nigerian security operatives have failed to eliminate them.
The former vice president stated this on Sunday during the People’s Town Hall 2023 series aired on Channels TV.
Atiku, who featured with his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, responded to questions on insecurity and was asked about his position on Boko Haram.
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.”
Prior to the elections in 2015, candidate Muhammadu Buhari also dismissed the insurgents when he came to Kano for the coronation of the then Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. He said with a wave of his hand that Nigeria had fought war and conducted elections, so “What is Boko Haram.?”
He, however, spent the eight years of his administration fighting the Boko Haram, and was unable to eliminate them.
Now that Atiku is sounding somehow like Buhari, should Nigerians take him seriously on this?
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