Jonathan’s approach to Boko Haram faulty – OBJ

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, said more could be done to reach out to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram to find out what leads it to carry out acts of violence.

Obasanjo who spoke in an interview with CNN, suggested the current government should adopt a dual-track approach rather than just cracking down on the group.

He said: “To deal with a group like that, you need a carrot and stick. The carrot is finding out how to reach out to them. When you try to reach out to them and they are not amenable to being reached out to, you have to use the stick.”

Obasanjo said President Goodluck Jonathan was “just using the stick” in his efforts, noting: “He’s doing one aspect of it well, but the other aspect must not be forgotten.”

The former president said he had tried to reach out to Boko Haram about a year and a half ago through a lawyer who was acting as the group’s proxy, and had asked if they had external backing. He said the lawyer told him that the group was receiving support from other Nigerians who have resources overseas or “other organizations from abroad.

“If they had 25 per cent support a year and a half ago, today that support has doubled,” Obasanjo said.

Analysts suggest that reaching out to Boko Haram may be increasingly difficult because the group has split into different factions, some with a domestic focus and others with a more pan-jihadi approach.

Resolving the issue is key to Nigeria’s progress, according to Obasanjo, who now heads an eponymous foundation that is working to promote human security across Africa.

“Boko Haram undermines security, and anything that undermines security undermines development, undermines education, undermines health, undermines agriculture and food and nutrition security,” he said.

Obasanjo who spoke in an interview with CNN, suggested the current government should adopt a dual-track approach rather than just cracking down on the group.

He said: “To deal with a group like that, you need a carrot and stick. The carrot is finding out how to reach out to them. When you try to reach out to them and they are not amenable to being reached out to, you have to use the stick.”

Obasanjo said President Goodluck Jonathan was “just using the stick” in his efforts, noting: “He’s doing one aspect of it well, but the other aspect must not be forgotten.”

The former president said he had tried to reach out to Boko Haram about a year and a half ago through a lawyer who was acting as the group’s proxy, and had asked if they had external backing. He said the lawyer told him that the group was receiving support from other Nigerians who have resources overseas or “other organizations from abroad.

“If they had 25 per cent support a year and a half ago, today that support has doubled,” Obasanjo said.

Analysts suggest that reaching out to Boko Haram may be increasingly difficult because the group has split into different factions, some with a domestic focus and others with a more pan-jihadi approach.

Resolving the issue is key to Nigeria’s progress, according to Obasanjo, who now heads an eponymous foundation that is working to promote human security across Africa.

“Boko Haram undermines security, and anything that undermines security undermines development, undermines education, undermines health, undermines agriculture and food and nutrition security,” he said.
-Sun

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=27723

Posted by on Jan 9 2013. Filed under Boko Haram, Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Olusegun Obasanjo (1976-79, 99-07), Presidency, Raw Politics, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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