Boko Haram: Obasanjo’s Call for Military Option, Defective – Cleric


Leader of the Triumphant Fellowship Church, Aba, Apostle Lawrence Tashemi, has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for military option in the fight against terrorism as defective strategy which cannot solve the problem.

In an interview with our correspondent in Aba, the cleric commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.

It would be recalled that the former president at the 40th anniversary of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s call to ministry at the Word of Life Bible Church blamed Jonathan over what he described as his ‘weak’ approach to insecurity challenges facing the nation.

Obasanjo said, “They (Boko Haram) stated their grievances and I promised to relay them to the authorities in power, because that was the best I could do. I did report. But my fear at that time is still my fear till today. When you have a sore and fail to attend to it quickly, it festers and grows to become something else.

“Whichever way, you just have to attend to it. Don’t leave it unattended to. On two occasions I had to attend to the problem I faced at that time. I sent soldiers to a place and 19 of them were killed. If I had allowed that to continue, I will not have authority to send security whether police, soldier and any force any where again. So, I had to nip it in the bud and that was the end of that particular problem.”

Apostle Tashemi maintained that Obasanjo has not really understood the issues involved in the act of terrorism, especially the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan should adopt the carrot and stick approach.”

“In principle, the military option (using violence to confront violence) is not the ultimate. Boko Haram should be viewed from the following perspectives: the religious philosophy, the political dimension, and the economic aspect of it.

“The suicide bombers are products indoctrination-somebody brainwashed them. The person who indoctrinated them, in my view is the real enemy and should be apprehended.”

The cleric called for value re- orientation on the sanctity of human life and fear of God.

“Religious leaders should be involved in telling them the consequence of their actions. Also, there should be attitudinal change in politics. Politics should no longer be a game of do or die.”

“Those who are elected political offices should use such to advance the lives of the common people. They should stop seeing it as opportunity for self- aggrandizement and enrichment at the detriment of the majority,” he stated.


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