Former Nigerian Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, who is also a major figure in the newly formed All Progressive Congress, has accused former governors of Niger Delta states of breeding militants for political reasons. Mr. Buhari made the statement in a radio program.
Mr. Buhari said the governors had armed militants for political purposes, but failed to retrieve the arms, adding that the weapons enabled the militants to start kidnapping expatriates in the Niger Delta.
Mr. Buhari said: “All Nigerians that are following events know this reality. The Niger Delta militants started it. The reality of what occurred was that, some governors wanted to win their elections and they were facing serious challenges of return. They employed these boys and armed them to fight their opponents. After their forceful victory, they could not retrieve the weapons and they stopped paying the boys for not obeying them [by returning the weapons]. The irate youths then started kidnapping and it become the order of the day. They were kidnapping oil expatriates and collecting dollars as ransom. A boy of 18 to 20 was getting almost 500 dollars in seven days, what will stop him doing it? And why will he go to school to spend 20 years and then come back to work for peanuts? That is if he will among the lucky ones that will get a job.”
On the Boko Haram sect, the former military dictator asked, “How did the sect start? We know that their head, Muhammed Yusuf, was posing as a threat and police could not clamp down on the sect and soldiers were involved. Muhammed Yusuf was captured alive by soldiers [and handed over] to the police. The right thing was to investigate and charge him to court. Instead they killed him and his in-law, and they went and destroyed their houses. Because of this, the remaining followers regrouped and are doing what they are doing.”
Some of Mr. Buhari’s political opponents have accused him of being sympathetic to Boko Haram’s terror activities.