Jonathan 'misread' Boko Haram threat

2014-11-27 20:34
Goodluck Jonathan (File: AP)

Goodluck Jonathan (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria's influential ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the current leader Goodluck Jonathan of misreading the Boko Haram crisis and allowing the threat to escalate to "gargantuan" heights.

Obasanjo, still a key power broker in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has launched a series of scathing attacks against Jonathan in recent months and has publicly urged him to not seek re-election - calls the president has ignored.

"Initially President Jonathan's understanding of the Boko Haram phenomenon suffered from wrong reading and wrong imputation," Obasanjo said at a book launch event late Wednesday.

"That is what led us to where we are today."

He described the five-year Islamist uprising as a "gargantuan danger to the nation" and blamed Jonathan for taking "more than three years" to understand the root causes of the conflict, including poverty and unemployment.

Jonathan has been roundly criticised for his handling of the Boko Haram conflict but the comments from Obasanjo may take on added significance with less than three months before Nigeria's vote.

Obasanjo plucked Jonathan from relative political obscurity to serve as Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's running mate in 2007 polls.

Jonathan rose to the top after Yar'Adua's death in 2010 following an illness.

Obasanjo called on Jonathan, a southern Christian, to stand aside before the 2015 polls in favour of a Muslim from the north to preserve the PDPs unwritten rule of rotating power in the divided nation.

But after Jonathan fought off his opponents and secured the PDP nomination, some expected Obasanjo to fall in line and support the candidate of the party he helped create in 1998 as the era of military rule was ending.

But in Wednesday's speech, Obasanjo appeared intent on continuing his attacks.

He also slammed the president's economic management, saying that if Nigeria stays on its current course and fails to contain graft, "we will all sink deeper into poverty".

Some Nigerians will likely pay little attention to anti-corruption speeches from Obasanjo, who was widely suspected of misusing public funds during his 1999-2007 tenure.

His current political clout is hard to quantify but experts say that if Obasanjo actively works against the PDP in the coming vote, it could hurt Jonathan's re-election prospects.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.