The National Security Adviser, Andrew Owoye Azazi has blamed the rise of insurgence by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram in the country on the internal wranglings of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties.
The retired General made this known during the second day of the South-south economic summit where the collapse of the nation’s security challenge was deliberated on.
Tracing the rise of Boko Haram’s attack, the chief security adviser to the president stated that “the extent 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, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule ……according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way.”
He added that there is some level of political undertone to the problem.
He also noted that the bombings, suicide attacks and jail breaks that have been raging the northern part of the country “could be traced to the politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.”
Blaming the notion of anointing candidates and the ‘do or die’ attitude of the political party, Retired General Azazi asked why “is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and that if he could not win, there would be problems in this 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.”
“It takes very long for somebody to be a sniper,” Mr. Azazi said.
He affirmed the level of sophistication of the group but also gave assurance that the government is aware of all their doings in a bid to addressing the issue. “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” he added.
On a final solution, the security adviser discourage just the use of force but called for a collective effort to address the economic problems of the north saying “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.”
He noted that the relationship between national security and development is inseparable, because “one cannot do without the other” the NSA said.