Former president Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
“I know that he (Buhari) is very, very concerned about the insurgency. He has got it right that first of all, there must be military ascendency over the insurgents,” Obasanjo said during a visit to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State at Government House, Maiduguri.
Obasanjo expressed optimism that the insurgency would be over soon, going by the successes recorded by the military in recent time.
“I do travel a lot in Africa and outside Africa. Where I have gone in recent times, what the people wanted to know is how Nigeria is coping with the situation of insurgency. I think we are not out of the woods yet, but it appears we can see the light beyond the tunnel.
“There is no doubt that with the combined efforts at the local level, at the state level and at the federal level, even at the community level, that our security forces are on the ascendency over the forces of destruction and the menace of insurgency that we have experienced for almost six years now.”
“My experience from the airport to Government House is that what I experienced in 2011 is different from what I experienced today.
“There is evidence that things are changing, the situation is improving. We pray that by the end of this year, no one will be in the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp again,” Obasanjo said.
He condoled with the state government over loss of lives and property to the insurgency. “I must commiserate with all our people in the state, and indeed the North East, who have been victims of the insurgency in the way that we have never experienced in the country before.
“There is no family in this state that had not really suffered in one form or the other. Please accept my condolences and that of my entire family.
“We pray that the souls of those who have lost their lives will be with their God,” Obasanjo said.
The former president appealed to political and opinion leaders in the country to educate Nigerians on the true situation in the North East by visiting the area frequently.
In his remarks, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, poured encomiums on Obasanjo, describing him as a man with rare courage committed to national unity and development.