Under Jonathan, Boko Haram were walking into Abuja at will – Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed, minister, says four years ago, Boko Haram insurgents strolled into Abuja, the nation’s capital, at will.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was in charge of the country during that period.
Speaking with journalists after a tour of major media houses in the US, Mohammed said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has defeated Boko Haram.
He said residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, now have a better lease of life compared with what obtained under the former government.
According to NAN, the minister visited offices of CNN, New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; Al Jazeera, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic Council and the Foreign Relations Council.
“The important thing is that we made them understand that the unfortunate incident of kidnap of the Dapchi schoolgirls and the recent suicide bombings are not reflective of actually the success of the government in fighting Boko Harm,” he said.
“When the government says Boko Haram is defeated, it is from the context of what it was when it came in and what we are today. People have forgotten that less than three or four years ago, people in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, could not sleep with their two eyes closed.
“That four years ago, the insurgents used to stroll into Abuja at will and no building was sacred to them. I mean they were so bold they attacked the force headquarters.
“They attacked the UN headquarters, they attacked newspapers head office, Nyanya Motor Park, was attacked twice and states and towns like Suleja, Kano, Sokoto, Kogi, Borno, were game for them. So, when we say we have defeated Boko Haram, it is precisely what we mean. Today, night life has returned to Maiduguri, weekly football leagues are being played in Maiduguri, schools have been reopened, roads have been reopened.
“It was a far cry from when we went in 2015 because between Bama and Maiduguri where we went to, there was no singular vehicle on the road.”
Mohammed also spoke on the economic policies of Buhari, saying the president can beat his chest that he has performed creditably.
“Again, our N-Power programme, they’ve never seen this kind of thing in Nigeria before where in one fell sweep, you employed 200,000 university unemployed graduate and another 200,000 have been screened and waiting to start work,” he said.
“Our government enterprise and empowerment programme has given out loans to about 200,000 cooperatives and individuals and our conditional cash transfer, today, has fed over 200,000 families.
“So these are the kinds of things we have done at a time when the price of crude oil was not as high as it was in 2011. So we have come to tell the world and I’m glad that they’ve been very well received. We were able to give the correct perspective of what the administration has been able to achieve.”
The minister said his trip to the US was aimed at providing accurate information on the country’s developments that have been distorted by critics.
“It became very important to give this information to the foreign media so that in their editorials, in their comments and when they are writing stories, they would be doing so from the context of the actualities on ground,” Mohammed said.