Military Alone can’t End Boko Haram – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the use of only military operations to tackle Boko Haram activities in Nigeria and other violent groups across the world cannot end insurgency.

A statement on Friday by the African Export-Import Bank, indicated that the former president said this during the bank’s 22nd Annual General Meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia.

Obasanjo, speaking about conflicts in Africa, also said the crises were caused by failure to address certain social problems in the society such as educational disparity.

Afrixembank’s spokesman, Obi Emekekwue quoted Obasanjo in the statement thus, “He proposed a carrot and stick solution to the conflicts on the continent through an approach involving military solutions and social development since a purely military approach would not work.

“According to Obasanjo, a situation, such as in Nigeria, where one section had an educational attainment level of 79 per cent while another had only 19 per cent, created room for conflict.”

The former president also called on Nigeria and other African countries to pursue economic integration on the basis of regional economic communities rather than doing so with the over 54 countries on the continent.

He noted that by pursuing economic growth, each region of the continent would serve as platforms to strengthen Africa.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the ex-president stressed the importance of infrastructure in promoting intra-African trade and called for the establishment of a viable well-run coastal shipping line from Dakar in Senegal to Maputo in Mozambique to improve intra-African trade.

Obasanjo stated further that while Nigeria and other nations on the continent should encourage the local production of goods, they should also encourage and develop the process of moving those goods.

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The statement added, “Former President Obasanjo added that Africa should start adding value to its commodities rather than exporting raw commodities only for those commodities to be sent back to the continent as finished goods.”

Meanwhile, the Afreximbank on Saturday announced the appointment of Benedict Oramah as its new boss. Oramah’s appointment was one of the key decisions taken during the bank’s AGM.

“Dr. Oramah takes over from Jean-Louis Ekra, who has been the bank’s chief executive officer since 2005. Oramah, a Nigerian national, has served as Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank since 2008. He was a pioneer staff of the bank, which he joined in 1994 as Chief Analyst, rising to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development Department in 2007. He previously served as Assistant Manager (Research) at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank from 1992 to 1994,” the statement said.

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