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He said Nigerians see Buhari as a jihadist.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

/ by National Pivot

A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has said Buhari’s leadership style, created the belief among Nigerians from other parts of the country, that he is a jihadist with a hidden agenda. 

According to Campbell, these belief is the fuel behind separatist agitations in the country, especially from the southern parts of the country. 

Buhari had in 2013, berated the then President Goodluck Jonathan's administration for attacking Boko Haram instead of treating them the same way his predecessor, late Umaru Yar’adua, treated Niger Delta militants, a situation he described as an act of injustice against the North.

Buhari who at the time spoke on a Liberty Radio programme, Guest of the Week monitored in Kaduna, said, “what is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Every Nigerian that is familiar with what is happening knows this. The Niger Delta militants started it all.

“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.

“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.

“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.

“So kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South -South and the South -East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money."

On Boko Haram he said, “How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militant and the police couldn’t control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.

“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.

“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today. You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.

“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the north were being killed and their houses were being demolished. They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice”.

Buhari's description of attack on Boko Haram as an act of injustice against the North, drew criticisms with critics calling him a terrorist sympathizer.

After winning election in 2015, Buhari then made it a priority to rehabilitate 'repentant' Boko Haram members where they are "trained in some skills" and then reintegrated back to the society or even employed into the military. This was exactly what he accused the Jonathan government of not doing, and described it as an act of 'injustice against the North.'

There is also the recent case of Buhari's Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who was accused of being an extremist, and who should by no means be a part of a government fighting insecurity especially Islamic extremists like Boko Haram.

Calls to have Pantami removed from Buhari's cabinet, failed. This alongside other issues including the failure to address Issues of herdsmen, bandits, and attacks against Christians, has painted him black, thus strengthening the belief that the president supports all these atrocities with an agenda in mind.

Now in an article written by Mr Campbell on the Council on Foreign Relations website, Campbell said, “Insecurity and perceptions of discrimination by the federal government have caused it to bubble up once again. Harsh security-service tactics drive separatist sentiment, as does religion for the overwhelmingly Christian Igbo, some of whom believe the Buhari government cooperates with – or at least tolerates – jihadis and Muslim bandits.”

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