Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has fired back at his former boss, Gen. Yakubu Gowon for calling his comments on the Jonathan administration’s handling of Boko Haram insurgency as ‘highly irresponsible.’
It would be recalled that two weeks ago at a book launch in Warri, Delta state in honour of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s 40th year in ministry, Obasanjo had called on President Jonathan to show more firmness in his handling of Boko Haram.
A week after Obasanjo made his comments, Gen. Gowon while speaking at the sidelines during a book launch, responded to the comments, saying, “Obasanjo is highly irresponsible to have made such comments about the present government. Many people have condemned what he (Obasanjo) did in Odi and Zaki Biam. So, it was irresponsible for him to defend it or accuse the present administration.”
But in a statement released yesterday, Obasanjo, speaking through his media assistant, Malam Garba Deen Mohammed, said that he showed his commitment to peace by leaving Abeokuta to Maiduguri to mediate with Boko Haram and threw a poser asking “Where was Gowon?”.
Quoting further from the statement, Obasanjo said, “There’s nothing irresponsible about my comments on the insecurity in Nigeria. I was only interpreting the reality. I expressed an opinion on the way the Boko Haram crisis is being handled and said if the current strategy is not working, then there has to be a change of strategy to achieve results. If the strategy were working, Boko Haram would have become a thing of the past by now.”
The statement further read: “In expressing my opinion, I drew from my personal experience. General Gowon can disagree with me without being insultive. Gowon’s comment is unkind, unfair, and unguarded.”
Apparently displeased by Gowon’s response, OBJ as he is fondly called, added that, “Just two weeks ago, the government of Borno State came out in the open to declare that it had been abandoned by the Federal Government. Why didn’t Gowon convince the Federal Government to help Maiduguri?
“Where was Gowon? Why has he not visited Maiduguri to solicit for peace? Is he not a leader of the North? What effort has he made to ensure an end to the crisis?”