Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, at the weekend said the war against Boko Haram insurgents will not stop unless the Federal Government is ready to tackle its underlining factors.
The governor alleged that some Federal Government institutions have diverted funds meant for human and infrastructural development.
“Until the federal government is ready to first tackle the underlining factors such as corruption, education, injustice, unemployment and poverty, the issue of insurgency would continue to be a mirage”, he said.
He also accused the Presidency of inciting Muslims and Christians against one another to win the 2015 general elections by all means.
Amaechi spoke while featuring on a Kaduna-based liberty radio weekly programme, ‘Guest of the Week’.
According to the NGF Chairman, if the Federal Government supports the military through intelligence gathering, which helped in combating militancy in Rivers State and other Niger Delta states, it would be the end to the menace.
Amaechi said there is need for the Federal Government to work with everybody, especially the locals, to know who and where the insurgents live even as he stressed that it was the failure of the government that caused militancy in the first place.
Using the Niger Delta militancy as a case study, he said: “It took me just two months to deal with militancy in Port Harcourt (Rivers State capital). If a state could achieve that within that space of time, how much more the Federal Government that has everything it needs at its disposal. At least, if we did not stop militancy, it has reduced.
“The earlier the Federal Government stopped inciting Muslims against Christians to win elections, the better for Nigeria.
“Killing militants was not the solution to the militancy. So, we began with infrastructure and gave them economic livelihood. That’s because when they know that when they go out, they would earn some money, they would not have time to perpetrate evil of this magnitude”.
Responding to a question on the alleged rift between him and President Goodluck Jonathan, Amaechi said: “We are not quarrelling; we just have a disagreement on how to govern the country. I have a huge respect for him. But only he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. So, he should be the only person to tell us how to bring the abducted Chibok schoolgirls back”.
On whether or not he had the intention to run for the Presidency in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Ikwere-born politician said he could only do so if he had the support of at least 25 million Nigerians.