October 13, 2014

Mobilize Nigerians against Boko Haram, Ezekwesili tasks Jonathan

Oby Ezekwesili mourns Abba Kyari

N10.6trn controversy: Oby Ezekwesili

ABUJA—Former Minister of Education and one of the Coordinators  of BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, campaign group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, weekend tasked  President Goodluck Jonathan to take the front seat in mobilising Nigerian citizens against the Boko Haram insurgents.

N10.6trn controversy: Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili

Dr. Ezekwesili, who wept while addressing members of the BBOG at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, at the special sit-out to mark the 180 days that the 219 girls were kidnapped by the insurgents, said the power to mobilise Nigerians against their common enemy rests with the President.

She noted that it was time for the President to convey the message of a strong nation, against the current global perception of the country as a weak nation, particularly in its war against terrorism and rescue activities to bring home the abducted secondary school girls in Chibok.

She lamented that the President had not displayed the strong character that Nigerians and the international community expected him to show in the struggle to rescue the missing girls.

Ezekwesili said: “First, I would expect our President to convey a message of a strong nation. Nigeria is not a weak country by every standard.

“There’s a way to convey the message that does not seem to imply that when citizens like those that have been advocating for the rescue of the girls call for rescue, they are told to go and talk to the terrorists.

“To me, that’s not what a nation tells the citizens. A nation state is strong by virtue of the fact that it is the entity that has the monopoly of the coercive apparatus, that is, the security instrumentation. And for me I believe that there’s that strength of character that is necessary for us to be able to win this war.

”I think mobilising the citizens is unfortunately has been the most divisive thing of our modern day Nigeria.

“How can we be divided in a time of a such like terrorism and the  capacity to mobilise  Nigerians lies in the President. It is the President that must mobilise the entire citizenry to face the common enemy. That’s what the kind of expectation that will make a difference. But now so far there’s been no such from the President.”

She also condemned the fact that the federal government’s approach to the rescue of the missing girls had not been persuasive since April 14 when they were abducted by members of Boko Haram.

“I don’t think government has done enough. You know there’s a way something is done and it persuades a you that there’s a certain level of credibility, diligence in the pursuit of an objective to come to true. Unfortunately it has not been so in this particular case. It has not been persuasive at all,” she said.

Speaking on the military actions so far taken to rescue the girls, Dr. Ezekwesili said a lot still needed to be done saying.

“I don’t think that anyone of us as Nigerians will say we are comfortable with the result so far. There’s a lot that needs to be done.

“We have had our own citizens who are also military and security personnel who also fall victims of this insurgency. So in every sense of the war, we are affected as a people . We don’t want our military to die,” she added.

She remarked that the Safe School Initiative being implemented by the Federal Government would not instil confidence in the Nigerian child in school unless the abducted girls were brought home.