Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday led a team of Colombian security experts to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, towards sharing professional expertise on security and counter terrorism.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting at the presidential villa, Mr. Obasanjo said Nigeria needed to learn how Colombia survived insurgency for more than 50 years.
“We want to see what has kept them going. What has made the government of Columbia to make three attempts to seek peace, to end the war and insurgency and they failed. What are the new efforts that they are making? How likely are those new efforts going to succeed,” the former president said.
Mr. Obasanjo said the president gave the team a listening ear, and was “anxious to learn”.
“One thing you can say about the president is that he is anxious to learn and he has listening ears. Of course, nobody knows it all. A good leader must seek every opportunity to learn and to put what he learns into practice,” said Mr. Obasanjo.
On the deadline given to Nigeria’s military chiefs to defeat Boko Haram, Mr. Obasanjo said the deadline was meant to encourage them to crush the sect.
“The president must give a target. When you give somebody a target, you give him something to aspire to, giving him an objective. Target is not cast in stone. I believe that if you are talking of getting the upper hand, gradually, we are getting the upper hand.
“We are not there yet but we are getting close. And once we are getting upper hand, we move on and do other things,” he said.
The former president said he also briefed Mr. Buhari on his assignment as special envoy to Guinea Bissau.
“The last time we were able to resolve all the issues of getting a new prime minister (in Guinea Bissau). This time, we had also been able to resolve the issue of forming a new government.
“If nothing happens, I believe between today and tomorrow, a new government will be in place in Guinea Bissau. They have been without government for almost two months,” he said.