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FIVE THINGS BUHARI MUST DO TO DEFEAT BOKO HARAM FROM OBASANJO’S LATEST OPEN LETTER


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his latest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari has identified four avoidable calamities he says continues to plague Nigeria and Nigerians which the President must own up to and take personal responsibility for.

These he identifies as:
1. Abandoning  Nigeria  into the hands of criminals who are  all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as  Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram  type;
2. Spontaneous  or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which  may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into  pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
3. Similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated  by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;

4. Violent uprising  beginning  from one section  of the country  and spreading  quickly  to other areas  and leading to dismemberment  of the  country.
These according to the former president has happened recently in Yugoslavia to which he says if nothing is done immediately, one or all of these scenarios may happen.
The former president opined that the nation needs unity of purpose and a nationally accepted road-map that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. The blueprint, he says must be owned by the citizens, and be a people’s policy and strategy to be implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.
Below are the ways he suggests the increasing insurgency can be dealt with:
First he says, the President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help.  If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else.

Secondly, in drawing up the above mentioned road map, the former president says some notable Nigerians must be contacted in its drafting regardless of what is perceived of them. These include, traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”
Thirdly, Obasanjo says we need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. In the fight against insurgency and the most recent being that of Fulani herdsmen, he says it must fought on on one front.
Fourth, Obasanjo says the blame game must stop and avoided at all cost. This is only debilitating and helpful only to the adversary he quips.
Fifth he says the use of sticks (military might) alone is not enough, infact it appears not to have yielded much as things stand, rather the government of the day must look inwards to see how to use more of carrrots (inducements) to bring about the resolution of the issue.
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