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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

You Say?? ''Boko Haram Has Legitimate Grievances'' - Obasanjo

La wa o ! Former President Olusegun Obasanjo believes that the Boko Haram sect has legitimate grievances. And he said this in a new interview with IBTimes UK.

In the interview with IBTimes UK on the sidelines of the Global Education Forum conference in Dubai, Obasanjo said that while 79% of Nigerians received education in the south west of the country and 77% in the south east, in the Boko Haram stronghold of the north east that figure was just 19%.

"We don't need [anyone] to tell [us] that that is a problem. A problem of disparity, a
problem of marginalisation. A problem because education is fundamental to your employability, to your living conditions. If you are not educated you are handicapped," he said.

Recommending a carrot-and-stick approach and adding that the heat that the sect is facing from the military at the moment could force it to dialogue with the government, Obasanjo criticized the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to act fast enough in taking the fight to Boko Haram. That failure, he said, had given the group confidence to spread to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.

"The response of the government initially was definitely not enough. When Boko Haram started showing their fangs about four years ago the reaction should have been firm and unmistakable. We have lost ground. 

"If Boko Haram is ready to talk, [we should talk]. But by the time they are ready to talk they will need to be pounded a little bit militarily: at that stage they will be ready to talk. 

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