Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed what Boko Haram founders said triggered the insurgency in the northeast.
The elder statesman said these while speaking at the launch of a book titled, ‘Pillars of Statecraft: Nation-building in a changing world’ authored by his daughter, Dr. Kofo Obasanjo-Blackshire, in Lagos.
Obasanjo said he was told by the founders that they were forced into terrorism due to poverty and unemployment.
He, however, warned that if nothing is done, the over 20 million out-of-school children might be future Boko Haram members. Punch reported.
“During the early days of Boko Haram, when the man who started the movement was said to have been killed, I said I wanted to meet with the members of the group to talk to them and know what they wanted.
“I met with their representatives and found out that they needed nothing but a better life for themselves. Can we blame them for wanting a better life for themselves? “They said they believed in Sharia Law. I told them that Sharia was not a problem in Nigeria. It is part of our constitution.”
Obasanjo, however, warned that the rising number of out-of-school children could be a breeding ground for future Boko Haram members.
He said: “We have over 20 million out-of-school children. Google how many countries in the world have less than 20m. That doesn’t worry us. Are you thinking there will be no Boko Haram tomorrow?
“Those are the foundations of your Boko Haram tomorrow. That should be our concern. We should not say it is externally induced. Is poverty also externally induced? Poverty is the conscious, unconscious choice of our leaders. If we say no; it would be no. If we say yes; it would be yes.”