President Goodluck Jonathan has reached out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for ideas as the deadly Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North-East region of the country spirals out of control, with the terrorists capturing Gwoza, a Nigerian territory, and declaring it an Islamic caliphate.
The development suggests a rethink by the Jonathan administration which had all along disregarded Mr. Obasanjo’s proposal to commence talks with the extremist Boko Haram sect through an informal channel.
According to Premium Times, both leaders met in Abuja yesterday Wednesday 27th of August 2014 at the instance of President Jonathan and had extensive discussion on how to tackle the insurgency. In fact, ostensibly desperate for solution to the problem, Mr. Jonathan offered to fly to Abeokuta to meet with Mr. Obasanjo. The former President however offered to travel to Abuja to meet Mr. Jonathan out of respect for the office of the president.
Mr. Obasanjo confirmed the meeting on arrival back to his base in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. “Yes, I can confirm that I met with Mr. President on his invitation,” he told journalists. “In fact, he had wanted to come down to Abeokuta, but as a sign of respect to the Office of the President, I had to go. We had discussion on the country’s security issues and that is all.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, confirmed the meeting but said he had no details of what was discussed. “It was a meeting between the two of them and only them can say what was discussed, Mr. Abatisaid.