Nigeria can crush Boko Haram – Buhari

By The Citizen
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A former military Head of State and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), insisted on Thursday that Nigeria had the capacity to defeat the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect.

Buhari also noted that the sect's activities should not be linked to Islam as being done in some quarters, adding that the sect could not have claimed to be fighting a religious cause when, they killed innocent people and destroyed worship places.

He said the earlier the Federal Government realize that the Boko Haram activities were not religious but terrorism, the better.

Buhari, who stated this while receiving the Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, on a sympathy visit to him, said the sect could be crushed with the same zeal the 30-month old civil war that claimed over one million Nigerians was fought.

Buhari said, 'When this question of Boko Haram started I'm sure it was on record that the first statement I made about 18 months ago was that no religion advocates what is happening. So basically it is not the case of religion or ethnicity 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 grip with it. Nigeria is capable of dealing with this. We dealt with the civil war for 30 months we fought and we kept Nigeria one and God's willing we are going to keep Nigeria one.'

Buhari, while commiserating with the families of those that died in the blast, said, 'When I came out of the car there was blood on my dress I did not know how it came about because I did not have a scratch on my body 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 by 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, Buhari said that he did not know the motive behind the attempt to assassinate him in the Wednesday blast that left scores of people dead.

Buhari noted that those who planned to eliminate him neither called him nor wrote him a letter to threaten his life before the foiled attempt on his life last Wednesday.

The former Nigerian leader, who spoke in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America monitored in Kaduna on Thursday, regretted the death of innocent people who were at the scenes of the twin blasts.

He said, 'We were on our way then a car suddenly started to trail us and was trying to get close to my vehicle but the vehicle following mine did not allow that. When we reached Kawo, near the market, he had to wait for other vehicles coming from the other end. It was the right side of the market on the left side is the road coming into Kaduna before the overhead bridge.

'From the right side, they detonated the bomb but Allah saved us. The three vehicles on my convoy were affected. I came out unhurt but I saw many people on the ground, some were dead while others were seriously injured. My aides were injured but they were treated and discharged.

'Nobody had written me or called to threaten me. The incidence took me by surprise.' - Punch.