NSA Azazi blames PDP for Boko Haram attacks

By Emmanuel Ogala and Bassey Udo

The National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi, says the current escalation of insecurity in the country, particularly the rampaging activities of the dreaded extremist sect, Boko Haram, is traceable to some undemocratic practices by the political parties during elections, especially the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Azazi, who was speaking at the on-going South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State, said the festering insecurity in the north eastern part of the country, which has been exacerbated by the frequent and deadly attacks of the extremist Boko Haram sect across the country, could be traced to the politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.
 
“In discussing the relationship between national security and development, let me say that one cannot do without the other,” the NSA said.“The issue of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning. The party started by saying Mr. A can rule, and Mr. B cannot rule, according to PDP conventions, rules and regulations and not according to the constitution. That created the climate for what is happening or manifesting itself in country. Is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, he could cause a problem in the society.
“Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, or something else was responsible.”
Mr. Azazi, whose views were supported by the Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the Boko Haram problem would be difficult to resolve without the various stakeholders coming together to address, holistically, the issues that gave fillip to its existence.
“It takes very long for somebody to be a sniper,” Mr. Azazi said.

Listen to Azazi below


 
“But, I can assure you that Boko Haram can garner that level of sophistication over time, if it has not got it already. There are a lot we know that they are doing, and there are a lot that could be done to address the problem.
“But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work.
“It is not enough for us to have a problem in 2009 and you send soldiers to stop the situation, then tomorrow you drive everybody underground. You must look at what structures you need to put in place to address the problem holistically. There are economic problems in the North, which are not the exclusive prerogative of the Northerners. We must solve our problems as a country.”
Mr. Oshiomhole, who agreed with the NSA, said some of the security situations the country is currently facing could be traced to attempts by a section of the political elite at various levels to manipulate the electoral system and impose themselves on the electorate during election.
“Where did Boko Haram start from and who were behind it,” the governor queried.
“Who used them to win elections and for how long was he able to do so? Who were the victims and the beneficiaries? My experience has been that politicians, who are unelectable, but have access to state treasury at various levels, often appropriate funds and procure arms to arm the unemployed, who they deploy on election day to manipulate and intimidated voters.
“If one comes to the South, some politicians have tried to cash in on the issue of pollution and the gap between the natural resources and the poverty of the people by arming people to manipulate elections, and after elections they use those instruments for some other ends.
“When one looks at why these people have not been stopped and call them to justice, one would find that they involve big time players in society and very top sections of the political elite.
“To solve the problem, we must have the political will to deal with whoever is using resource of state to procure arms for the unemployed to use them for all kind of purposes, including the manipulation of elections.
“We must resolve to allow the peoples will to prevail during elections, whether as governors, presidents, ministers and council chairmen to use fund at their disposal to procure arms for unemployed youths in order to harm the electorate on Election Day,” Mr. Oshiomhole said.
But the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, who noted that security and development are inter-linked, traced the current state of insecurity in the country to the structural defects in the polity, placing so much responsibility on the shoulders of the Federal Government.
Mr. Akpabio said the federal government had failed to deliver, rating its performance at 10 per cent.
“Beginning from the present administration, the Federal Government should begin to unbundle the weight on it shoulders and try to decentralise and give more duties relating to other aspects of development, like creating jobs, to the states and local governments, and focus more on providing security for the country, since the states and local government do not control the apparatus of security,” he said.
According to Mr. Akpabio, this calls for the readjustment of the revenue formula to enable the other states and local governments carry the challenge of grassroots development, pointing out that the menace the country has found itself in the last 50 years would remain if the Federal Government continues to make politics at the centre more attractive for people.
“We must unbundle the federal government, make a new revenue allocation formula that gives more monies to the states and local governments to face development at the grassroots while the federal government would be allowed to face security, to guarantee sustainable development” he said.
On Boko Haram, Mr Akpabio said the rising insecurity in the North is due to the failure of political leadership in the region, saying the attacks were a result of frustration of the majority of the people who appear not to see any visible benefit for years the political leadership of the country has remained in the control of the elite from the region.
“The reactions in some of the regions in the country are as a result of poor leadership and not caused from the present administration,” he said.
“People are complaining in the North, yet for more than 35 years, the leadership of this country came from there. People are reacting as a result of pent up frustration, due to lack of empowerment and essential amenities,” Mr. Akpabio said.

 


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  • gringory99

    views expressed here by participants, mostly of south south extraction, where more of scession from the federation of nigeria rather than focusing on the development of their region.raising issues of jonathan contesting for president is a mere mirage to pave way for him to contest again in 2015.infrastructural development in the northern states is far better than in the whole south.looting,corruption ,embezzelment,all sorts of atrocities committed in the southern part were incomparable with the northern part.

  • Lanre

    Good talk General. Now that we have identified the problem, let us have the solution. Confederation, I say.

  • http://www.bokohalal.blogspot.com –> Religious dimension

  • Diyayimuhd

    Unbundling FG alone is not enough. We have to unbundle both the federal & state govts. The powers of gobs are just so much making them demigods. Unbundling also involves removing the immunity of both the president & govs. The existance of immunity makes these offices attractive & promotes corruption.

  • Mgliman

    With all sincerity I agree with almost all what the 3 Speakers have said. Let us face the reality, avoid politicization of issues, remove regional/religious/ethnic sentiment and come together (North and South, Muslims and Christains, Hausas, Ijaws, Kanuris, Yorubas, Igbos) in order to solve the problem for our own good and the good of our future generation. So help us Allah.

  • Isahsani89

    hmm

  • Yak

    This is a real General, a real Soldier, an Army,a non political General.
    Thousand Gun salutes for you.po po po po po………………………
    Without fear of been retired by force, he said the truth.
    Without fear of not giving him oil Block allocation, he said the truth.
    Without fear of been relieved of his portfolio now-CSA-, he said the truth.
    Thank You General.
    General of the people,
    General of Nigeria hopes.

    Those that have been so myopic and dogmatic about Boko Haram,
    Those that have been so religious sentimental about Boko Haram,
    Those that have been so sectionalised about Boko haram. Please go and sing a new song and new prayer.

    Now we have heard or read that the thief we have been looking for, is the one that have been shouting thief thief thief. or Oleeeeee so that attention of the few blunt Brain, will be diverted.

    Pls thief, we voted for you people under a very hot sun. that very day it was very hot sun in Lagos.
    hoping that you will be a different person as your name implies. pls help us, even though you cannot create jobs as promise, fight corruption because they are your political father or Chairmen before, make infrastructural developments because most contract have to pay campaign bill.

    pls tell them not to kill us.when they is life they is hope. Hope that one day people like General Owoye Azazi will speak again. may they not kill us before then. ameeooo amin

    • Yayanaibi

      Removing sentiment, I believe is one of the way forward, the goverment of the day, must accept the truth from this gentleman and act as a true democrate! Have the will to carry Nigeria as one entity, not calling people from certain region terrorist for the sake of western sympathy. Remember that as reality or fiction, the winning vote came from all regions, development can only come when there is peace all over the country, the prayer of the oppressed is very strong. We Nigerians are good in prayers and God accept our prayers. Accept the truth and change please, Do something now to end the insecure and suffering of the masses. Remember that as leaders, you shall all one day account for your deeds.

  • Fursterluva4

    leaders from the north have questions to answers……

  • Kabirkura

    This is the plain truth about the North, and the Nigerian situation in terms of socio-economic and political development. It is my sincere hope that we give a positive reaction about the issues raised by not shifting blames rather finding and proposing remedies to make Nigeria a better country.

  • Daddy

    Daddy
    Bravo my General! How I wish those at hemp of leadership would listen and swing into action? At least you have said your own professinal view. God is all seer and listener.