Former Minister of Power and Steel during the second republic and spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum, Wautaregh Paul Unongo, has blamed the successive administrations’ insensitivity to the people for the insurgence of the dreaded Boko Haram in the country.
Unongo, who described the sect as a small group at inception which had made its impact felt during the Maitasine uprising, stated that the sect only emerged in 2008 because the previous leaders had turned deaf ears to the drumming of war then. The former minister, who was answering questions from newsmen in Makurdi, on Wednesday, however, promised that the Northern Elders Forum would ensure that the activities of Boko Haram were brought to an end.
He explained that the issue of Boko Haram goes beyond religion, adding that the perpetual neglect of the youths, politics, criminal minded people in government and the indifferent attitude of opinion moulders in the society, all, according to him, cumulated into the high rate of youth militancy in the country, especially the insurgence of the dreaded sects in recent times.
The Tiv-born politician disclosed that some Southerners whose interest had not been protected in the power play were also members of Boko Haram , just as he lashed at former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for his hatred against the North, adding that the region had suffered humiliation, neglect and bastardisation since the inception of the democratic era. Unongo said: “Since the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, the North has been bastardised, the region neglected, he impoverished the region deliberately, destroyed our economy and succeeded in disuniting the North. If by today, God forbids, there is war, I bet you the South will just over run us here in the North with the influence and the resources at their disposal.