Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria is gradually gaining the upper hand against the Boko Haram insurgents and would eventually win the ongoing war in the N|orth-East.
Obasanjo led a team of Columbian security experts to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja, yesterday to share their professional experience in combating terror.
The former president spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting.
Speaking on the possibility of the Nigerian armed forces not defeating Boko Haram at the end of the three months deadline given to them, he said that the deadline was not cast in stone but merely to encourage them to work harder.
“The president must give a target. When you give somebody a target, you give him something to aspire to, giving him an objective. The target is not cast in stone. I believe that if you are talking of gaining the upper hand, gradually, we are gaining the upper hand. We are not there yet but we are getting close. And once we are getting upper hand, we move on and do other things,” he said
He continued: “There will be measures of socio-economic development, education, employment. All that has to go into the process of eventually winning the war and saying ‘here is Uhuru.’
“If we won the civil war, we can win this one. But like the Columbian said, we are not waiting until we kill off every insurgent to say we have won.”
He said Nigeria needs to learn how Colombia had survived insurgency for more than 50 years.
He said as a lesson learnt from Columbia, “we want to see what has kept them going, what has kept insurgency going? What has made the government of Columbia to make three attempts to seek peace, to end the war and insurgency and they failed. What are the new efforts that they are making? How likely are those new efforts going to succeed?”
Obasanjo said the president gave the team a listening ear, adding that “one thing you can say about the president is that he is anxious to learn and he has listening ears. Of course, nobody knows it all. A good leader must seek every opportunity to learn and to put what he learns into practice.”
The former president said he also briefed President Buhari on his assignment as special envoy to Guinea Bissua.
“The last time we were able to resolve all the issues of getting a new prime minister. This time, we had also been able to resolve the issue of now forming a government.”


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