Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reasoned that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan failed to pay adequate attention to tackling insurgency in the North-East region when he was in power because he thought Boko Haram was a device by the North to remove him from office.
Obasanjo made this disclosure while responding to questions during an interview session with Nkem Ifejika on BBC.
According to him, had Jonathan nipped insurgency in the bud as early as 2011, it would not have assumed the scale it is today.
He said: “We did not do what we should have done when we should have done it. We left it to become a very intractable problem.
“I went out in 2011 to Maiduguri. I took great risk to find out what is really happening. Boko Haram, do they have grievances, if they have grievances, what are their grievances and I brought all that to Jonathan.
“Jonathan didn’t believe that Boko Haram was a serious issue. He thought that it was a device by the North to prevent him from continuing as President of Nigeria which was rather unfortunate.
“Even when Chibok girls were abducted, it took a while for the government to believe. Now if that is the situation, you can understand why the right attention was not paid to the issue of Boko Haram when it should have been paid.
“Boko Haram will not be over. It started from a position of gross under-development, unemployment, youth frustration in the north-east. So we must be treating the disease not the symptom.”