A Nigerian elder statesman and former minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, on Tuesday said the bandits and insurgents wreaking havoc across parts of northern Nigeria were the product of some northern leaders who were hell-bent on making former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration fail.
Although he didn’t name the northerners, Clark said that the proverbial Frankenstein monster, which they created during Jonathan’s tenure, became uncontrollable and has returned to haunt them.
Clark, who leads the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), stated this while responding to a claim by minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, whom he quoted as saying “Nigeria would have been an Islamic state without President Muhammadu Buhari.”
He described the statement as fallacious and misleading saying that the minister has the impetus to make the claim because Nigerians have not dispelled the claim that President Buhari’s government expelled the Boko Haram group from the 14 local government areas of Borno State.
The former information minister said Boko Haram was expelled from the 14 local government areas of Borno State by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government through the engagement of combined forces who were assisted by hired mercenaries.
He added that the sect’s expulsion from the 14 local government areas in the state, enabled the conduct of elections there after initially postponed.
Clark recalled that the whole gang up against Jonathan started when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua took ill and eventually died on May 9, 2010.
“It was at this stage that some ‘prominent’ persons from the north have vowed to themselves that they will not want Dr. Jonathan to return to power in 2011, and allegedly started orchestrating all manners of evil, including fuelling the activities of the monster called Boko Haram.”
“The upsurge of the Boko Harm activities in the north-east, and its incursion into other parts of the country, with bombings even in the nation’s capital Abuja, were obviously the saddest, most difficult and trying times of President Jonathan when he was in office.”
He recalled the June 16, 2011 bombing incident at the Louis Edet House, the premises of the headquarters of the Nigeria police Force as one of the most traumatic for the Jonathan administration.
He added, “In contrast, however, those who never wanted him (Jonathan) in office and those who never liked him, were basking in joy because their handiwork was succeeding. And actually, nurtured the group to be more daring in any way possible including people who made statements that fanned the members of their activities.
“But like the saying goes, what goes around, comes around, they never knew they were raising what is like the proverbial Frankenstein monster. What they created became uncontrollable and returned to haunt them.
“Today, part of Niger State in the North-Central geo-political zone, is occupied by Boko Haram. The Governor of the State, Dr. Abubakar Sani Bello, has cried out several times about this. The insurgents have hoisted their flags in parts of the State, collecting levies and taxes from farmers before the latter will not only be allowed to go about their business, but to also enable them to live in peace.
“Only recently, on 19th December 40 innocent persons were gruesomely murdered in Kaduna State by terrorists, in a State that has very major state security installations. These are not imaginary persons; they are sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, relatives of persons. In Fact, the names of 29 of them were published, the rest were yet to be identified.
“Just a few days ago, there were rocket explosions at different locations when the President visited Maiduguri. Yet, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Information Minister, is not seeing this; what he keeps seeing in his imagination is his warped images of 2015.”
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