Former Head of Military Ruler and Chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Major General Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Federal Government to stop the clampdown of Boko Haram insurgents, saying Niger Delta Militants were never killed or properties belonging to them destroyed.
Buhari who spoke on Sunday on a Liberty Radio programme, Guest of the Week monitored said accused the government of killing and destroying houses belonging to Boko Haram members while the Niger Delta militants get special treatment.
The former dictator said that unlike the special treatment given to the Niger Delta militants by the federal government, the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses demolished by government.
While accusing President Jonathan of failing from the beginning to address the security situation in the country, Buhari said he has never been in support of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa state.
According to Buhari “what is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Every Nigerian that is familiar with what is happening knows this. The Niger Delta militants started it all.
“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.
“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.
“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.
“So kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South -South and the South -East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money.
“How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militant and the police couldn’t control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.
“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.
“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today.
You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.
“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the north were being killed and their houses were being demolished.
They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice”.
While fielding questions in English in the same programme, Buhari said that the promoters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) were aware of the challenges ahead of them in an effort to get the party registered, saying “the road to merger is quite rough.
“The ruling party, with its enormous resources and its capacity for coercion has seen it as a threat and they have said it. Personally, I came to realise since 2007 that Nigerians believe that the only way to stabilise the system of multi-party democracy is for the opposition parties that have representatives right from Councillors to the National Assembly come together to deliver their constituencies democratically.
This is the only way you can counter PDP’s enormous physical and material influence in the country”
He expressed optimism that the All Progressive Congress will be registered saying “by nature, I am an optimist. If I were not an optimist, I will not attempt to contest the presidency three times and end up in the Supreme Court three times. I believe we are going to be registered.
“There is a law guiding party registration which states that you must have your headquarters in the nation’s capital that can be identified by INEC and you must have a convention. All the three parties involved have held their conventions and have agreed to forsake our existing parties and go for APC.
“At the national level, we must have those who will run the party. As soon as we meet these criteria and INEC acknowledge that, 30 days after the acknowledgement, we are APC whether INEC write us and give us the registration or not”.