The national security adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, has blamed the internal wrangling in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the rise of insurgency by the Boko Haram sect in the country.
Azazi made this disclosure yesterday at the second South-South summit in Asaba, the Delta State capital, where the collapse of the nation’s security challenge was deliberated on.
“ PDP got it wrong from the beginning, by saying Mr. A can rule, Mr. A cannot rule…. according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulations and not according to the constitution and that created the climate for what has manifested itself in this way.” He said.
Azazi said that the “extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest’, adding that there is some level of political undertone to the problem.
The PDP, in its reaction, said that the NSA was “quoted out of contest.” National publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, maintained that the party is against terrorism, the activities of Boko Haram and all it represents.
He said “I am sure that the NSA must have been quoted out of context, as am not too sure he said that. Nevertheless, NSA is not a politician and so might not be able to understand the intricacies of politics within our political party.”
The NSA had also told his audience that the bombings, suicide attacks and jail breaks that have been raging in the northern part of the country “could be traced to the politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.”
Azazi also gave thumbs down to the PDP’s belief in anointing candidates and the “do or die” attitude of the party. He also asked why “it is possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and that if he could not win, there would be problems in this society.”
Speaking further, the NSA said, “Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the north-east just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, or something else was responsible”.
Azazi said that even if all the leaders of Boko Haram were arrested, it would not bring to an end the problem as, according to him, “there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied because the situations that created the problems are not just about religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work.”
The security adviser frowned at the use of force to quell the insurgency in the north, as he called for a collective effort to address the economic problems of the region.
‘It is not enough for us to have a problem in 2009 and you send soldiers to stop the situation, then tomorrow you drive everybody underground. You must look at the structures you need to put in place to address the problem holistically. There are economic problems in the north, which are not the exclusive prerogative of the northerners. We must solve our problems as a country” he stated.