It’s been a bloody year in northern Nigeria after series of fatal attacks, allegedly by Boko Haram, that have killed more than 300 Nigerians this year alone.
And while on Al-Jazeera's widely watched interactive programme, "The Stream" tonight, Nigeria's Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati defended FG's activities against Boko Haram, saying the Federal Government is winning the war against terrorism.
Abati was on the programme with:
- Aminu Gamawa @AminuGamawa (Coordinator, Harvard Law School Graduate Forum aminugamawa.com)
- Ahmad Zannah Khalifa (Senator, Borno State)
- Michael Sodipo, Founder, Peace Initiative Network
- and Babatunde Rosanwo
“The government is winning the war against Boko Haram. The violence has reduced compared to the situation a year ago. Nigerians go to church with fear and trepidation every Sunday but that does not happen anymore.”However, reacting to Reuben Abati’s statement, Rosanwo said
“the government must come down to the level of its citizens; they are the ones that are being killed. The government is definitely not winning the war against Boko Haram.”Senator Khalifa agreed with Rosanwo saying the government has failed in protecting the lives and property of citizens in the affected areas. He put holes in Abati’s argument saying the insurgents are within the community, a notion which is contrary to the official stance of the government which suggests that the Islamic militant sect adopts a cross-border attack strategy.
Rosanwo stated that the president needs to show some empathy to the victims of Boko Haram in Yobe, Borno and Bauchi by paying them a visit instead of sitting put in Abuja.
“You need to stop this centenary nonsense,” he said. “How can you celebrate when forty three kids were killed? What stops Mr. President from visiting Borno,” he asked rhetorically.Abati, however, countered saying citizens, especially a serving senator should be careful not to make statements that are capable of demoralising the troops fighting against insurgents, he assured Nigerians of President Jonathan's commitment to the security of every citizen.
Will bring you the video once The Stream publishes it.
Additional info: YNaija.com