The 2015 election was won by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), partly on a promise by the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari that he would end the Boko Haram insurgency in the country and guarantee security across the country.
However, the surge in terrorism and banditry six years after showed that Buhari, an ex-Army General has failed to keep one of his major campaign promises.
Thousands of people have lost their lives while millions have been displaced from their communities between 2015 and 2021 due to insecurity.
Ironically, Buhari, who was the national leader of the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2013 faulted the Goodluck Jonathan-led Nigerian government’s clampdown on the insurgents.
He accused the government of killing and destroying their houses while the Niger Delta militants were given special treatment by the government.
The former military head of state disclosed this on a Liberty Radio programme, Guest of the Week.
Buhari, who first spoke in Hausa before the English version, accused politicians from the Niger Delta region of starting the insecurity in the country by recruiting and arming youths of the region in their desperate attempt to retain power as governors.
He said that unlike the special treatment given to the Niger Delta militants by the Jonathan government, the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses demolished by the government.
“What is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Every Nigerian that is familiar with what is happening knows this. The Niger Delta militants started it all.
“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.
“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.
“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.
“So kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South-South and the South-East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money.
“How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militant and the police couldn’t control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.
“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.
“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today. You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.
“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the North were being killed and their houses were being demolished. They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice,” Buhari had said.