Boko Haram Insurgency Far From Over – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that the insurgency in the North east is far from over and that the Boko Haram terrorists still occupy territories in the region, contrary to reports from Nigerian authorities.

He spoke during the 11th Founder’s Day Ceremony of the American University of Nigeria, AUN, in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, contending that Boko Haram is still strong and deadly, adding that it was wrong to think that the group had been defeated.

“The insurgents still occupy a specific geographical space, the former Vice President said, adding that the insurgents “still retain the capacity for occasional deadly attacks. Many citizens in the zone still remain vulnerable and live in fear.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has on numerous occasions, in local and international fora, said that the Boko Haram has largely been decimated and the insurgency was all but over.

He also maintained the same position in his 2016 Independence Day speech on October 1.

But Atiku said that it was premature for anyone to claim victory over Boko Haram at this time.

“We cannot say that the problem is over until every displaced person is able to return home, to the office, to the market, to the farm, and resume normal activities,” he said.

“We cannot say it is over until we rebuild the schools, the churches, the hospitals, the markets, and the homes that had been destroyed.

“And we cannot say it’s over until the survivors of this insurgency receive the help they need, including psychological therapy to deal with the trauma that they have been through.”






     

     

    The former Vice President said that he had visited an IDP camp and  seen hundreds of children running around and unable to attend school, a situation he observed was “gut wrenching.”

    “It still breaks my heart. So we cannot say the insurgency is over until all the displaced children return to their schools,” he posited.

    Atiku maintained that “it would not be enough for people to simply return to their pre-insurgency lives,” adding that something must be done to rehabilitate the people whose lives had been adversely affected by insurgency, “otherwise we would only have papered over the wound without really treating it.”

    “People must return to something better, to hope, to improved schools, to improved economic opportunities, to freedom of worship and improved inter-religious harmony,” he said.

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