Nigeria can defeat terrorism: Buhari
Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has said that Nigeria can defeat Boko Haram, just as dealt with Biafran insurgency in the late 60s.
The APC leader who has lived with a hard-to-dispel image of an Islamic fundamentalist, also said it stilled remained a mystery to him how he survived the bomb attack on his convoy in Kaduna on Wednesday.
82 persons died in the twin bomb explosions targeted at General Buhari and an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi. They both escaped unhurt.
Buhari, while r ecounting his experience when Governor Yero visited him at his Sultan Close residence in Kaduna, Buhari, said, “When this question of Boko Haram started, and I am sure it is on record, in the first statement I made about 18 months ago, I said no religion advocates what is happening in the North East. So the case of this kind of killings is not religion; it is also not ethnic. When they kill children in schools in the North East, they kill teachers, they burn churches, they burn mosques, they burn motor parks, they burn markets — where is religion there? Where is ethnicity there? This is terrorism and I hope the government will come to grips with it. Nigeria is capable of dealing with this. Some of us died in the civil war for this country. For 30 months we fought and we kept Nigeria one and, God willing, we are going to keep Nigeria one.
“I commiserate with the families of those that died, because this thing was ignited at exactly when my car was almost side by side with that of the bomber. I came out of the car after the bomb went off. There was blood on my dress. I did not know how it came about because I did not have a scratch myself, but there were dead bodies all over the place. The security tried to move me to the other side and we just got one of the vehicles passing and they brought me home. I hope the law enforcement agencies and the chief executives of the states will succeed in securing the country. May God help us”
Meanwhile, another former Head of State , General Babangida, in a statement on Thursday condemned the latest attack in Kaduna on Wednesday on Buhari's convoy.
He said,. “This, and several other attacks have tended to portray our dear country as a terrorist nation that is grappling with insecurity. To state the least, this bloodletting must stop. This bloodletting has to stop.
“I have sat back in my quiet retirement home in Minna to ponder what could be the motivation for these several attacks, but I am yet to find any explanation why Nigerians would be killing fellow Nigerians. For those of us who fought the civil war, our painful sense of nostalgia still remains deep, as much as our patriotic attitude towards this great country, Nigeria. These wanton killings and needless bloodletting have continued to retard our growth and democratic journey, forcing the system to improvise all manners of mechanisms to arrest this descent to anarchy. It is callous and inhuman for anyone to goad this country on the path of perfidy, a path that is laid with landmines and bombs. This is totally unacceptable.
“Even as I sympathise with my colleague former President, General Muhammadu Buhari for escaping the bomber's scalpel, I also wish to condole with the families of those who lost their lives in this attack. It is frightening and calls for condemnation by all well-meaning people of Nigeria.
“We all must rise above partisanship in our condemnation of this state of insecurity, as we all must be united in our clear-cut resolve to find solutions to this hydra-headed situation we find ourselves. We must see this state of insecurity as a Nigerian problem and not one that is pigeon-holed in any particular region, religion or tribe. Nigerians, by virtue of their nationality, should be free to live anywhere in the country without molestation, harassment and intimidation.
“Let me also condole with Mr. President on this unfortunate incident and the recurring decimal of insecurity and crime against humanity that is fast polluting public morality. We all must join hands with Mr. President at this critical time of our national history and democratic journey to proffer solutions to this anti-development scenario that is fast enveloping us.”
On its part, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), described the twin explosions in Kaduna and Kano at the peak of Ramadan as a clear indication of disregard to the only true God by a sect that claimed to be fighting God's cause, condemning the attacks in strong terms.
Reacting to the blast, the President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor in a statement said it was unfortunate that people that could be used as the moral compass for society's transformation were now being targeted by terrorists.
“The attack, coming almost at the climax of the holy month of Ramadan is a clear indication of the perpetrators' inclination to evil and disregard for the true God and all that are linked to him.”
Both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress(APC) also condemned the bomb attacks on the former Head of State.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh described the attacks as dastardly and unfortunate. The party also sympathised with the cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who was also lucky to have escaped unhurt.
Metuh said: “The party, while mourning the dead, “joins all well-meaning Nigerians in thanking God for saving the lives of General Muhammadu Buhari and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi whose convoys were affected in the incident.
“We sincerely sympathize with General Buhari. Our hearts go out to him and all those affected in these wicked attacks.”
The APC on its part, said the attempted assassination of Gen. Buhari has changed the narrative about the insurgent group and knocked the bottom off the sinister, irresponsible and partisan colouration given to the insurgency by the Federal Government.
APC said while no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the mere fact that it occurred at all is a lose-lose situation for the Jonathan Administration.
The party's position was communicated through a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.