Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that if he had been president at the time the Boko Haram crisis started, he would have nipped it in the bud.
Obasanjo who stated this while speaking on ‘The Talk’ programme which was aired on a YouTube Channel, ‘Voice of the People’ said had served oit his tenure in 2007, his successor, late Umaru Yar’Adua, mismanaged the issue, which caused the group to become terrorists.
He recalled that in 2011, with the permission of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he visited the family of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and other aggrieved persons in the terrorist group and they explained why they were carrying out attacks.
“In 2011, I went to Maiduguri. This was after Boko Haram had attacked the UN building in Abuja and I just wanted to know who they were and if they had leaders and what their grievances were.
“I found out that these elements of Boko Haram had been there even while I was in government. And they, through their intermediary, said they were there and I didn’t disturb them so they didn’t disturb me.
“They were preaching Sharia and that was what they wanted. But, according to them, when I left government, they were being chased and haunted and they lost a number of their adherents and they decided to fight back and even the leader of their sect, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed and his in-law was also killed.
“They went to court to try and get compensation which was granted to them but the state government did not pay,” he said.