Published On: Tue, Mar 17th, 2015

Nigeria: Olusegun Obasanjo says Boko Haram has ‘legitimate grievances’

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has indicated that the Boko Haram terrorist group has “legitimate grievances” during a new interview with a British outlet.

While criticizing the response of the current administration to the Islamic extremists, Obasanjo highlighted low level of education in the northern part of the country as a contributory factor to the situation.

Obasajo spoke on Monday during a global education conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) indicating that 79% of Nigerians received education in the South-West of the country and 77% in the South-East, in the Boko Haram stronghold of the North-East, the figure was just 19%.

Islamists Boko Haram used young girls as suicide bombers in this weekend's massacre Boko Haram logo   photo/Arnold Platon via wikimedia commons

Islamists Boko Haram used young girls as suicide bombers in this weekend’s massacre
Boko Haram logo photo/Arnold Platon via wikimedia commons

“They have legitimate grievances,” he told IBTimes UK. “We don’t need anyone to tell us that that is a problem. The response of the government initially was definitely not enough. When Boko Haram started showing their fangs about four years ago, the reaction should have been firm and unmistakable.”

He believes that the pressure from the military at the moment could force it to dialogue with the government.

“If Boko Haram is ready to talk, we should talk. But they will need to be pounded a little bit by the military and then, they would be ready to talk,” he said.

“When we were dealing with the carrot aspect, the stick aspect should have been firm. The carrot is those things rightly or wrongly perceived as injustice or grievances that can now be dealt with. But the false confidence of the militants to go into Chad, Niger and neighboring countries has now led to a regional coalition of military and that has been reasonably effective; it has not completely solved the problem.”

Boko Haram, a name which means “western education is a sin,” has made a reputation of brutal attacks on villages, kidnapping women and girls while promising alliances with ISIS in the Middle East.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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