Where Was Gowon When I was Visiting Maiduguri for Peace-Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has fired back at former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, for calling him “highly irresponsible” for his criticism of the Jonathan administration’s handling of Boko Haram. Obasanjo had called on the President to be tougher on Boko Haram at a book launch in Warri to celebrate Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s 40th year in ministry 2 weeks ago.
In response, Gen. Gowon had lambasted Obasanjo, saying, “Obasanjo is highly irresponsible to have made such comments about the present government. Many people have condemned what he (Obasanjo) did in Odi and Zaki Biam. So, it was irresponsible for him to defend it or accuse the present administration.”
But in a statement released yesterday, Obasanjo said through his media assistant, Malam Garba Deen Mohammed, that he showed his commitment to peace by leaving Abeokuta to Maiduguri to mediate with Boko Haram and asked where Gowon was all that time.
The statement went further to quote Obasanjo as saying, “There’s nothing irresponsible about my comments on the insecurity in Nigeria. I was only interpreting the reality. I expressed an opinion on the way the Boko Haram crisis is being handled and said if the current strategy is not working, then there has to be a change of strategy to achieve results. If the strategy were working, Boko Haram would have become a thing of the past by now.” It said further that, “In expressing my opinion, I drew from my personal experience. General Gowon can disagree with me without being insultive. Gowon’s comment is unkind, unfair, and unguarded.”
Continuing Obj as he is fondly called fired that “Just two weeks ago, the government of Borno State came out in the open to declare that it had been abandoned by the Federal Government. Why didn’t Gowon convince the Federal Government to help Maiduguri?”
“Where was Gowon? Why has he not visited Maiduguri to solicit for peace? Is he not a leader of the North? What effort has he made to ensure an end to the crisis?”
For now, I seems Obasanjo has thrown the gauntlet at Gowon. It is left to see if Gowon would have a response to this.
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