Former World Bank vice president, Obiageli Ezekwesili, who co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, says Nigerian armed forces have committed human rights abuses in their fight against militant group Boko Haram.
“It clearly does have instances where human rights violations have happened,” she told Al Jazeera’s show Head to Head with award-winning British jhournalist Mehdi Hasan.
Ezekwesili, whose campaign started following the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State last April, asserted that although the girls were yet to be found, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was not a failure. “No, I wouldn’t say that we have failed. I would say that we have not been able to move the elephant.”
The former minister blamed the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for its failure to rescue the girls. However, she said no hope should be lost as Boko Haram could still be defeated.
Speaking further in the interview, Ezekwesili said Nigeria has a “political class problem”.
While she admitted there was corruption in government when she was minister, the co-founder of Transparency International said “there was no way it could have been more corrupt than the government of Abacha”.
Ezekwesili lamented that the government, when she was minister, was not able to “succeed fully” in tackling corruption.
She served in two ministerial capacities under President Olusegun Obasanjo, but Ezekwesili insisted that she was not a politician.
The interview airs on May 1.