Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President, Goodluck Jonathan has defended the activities of his principal against the Islamic militant sect Boko Haram saying the Federal Government is winning the war against terrorism.
Abati said this on The Stream, a widely watched interactive programme on Al-Jazeera hosted by renowned journalist and former CNN anchorwoman, Femi Oke.
According to Abati, who was on the programme with a serving senator, Ahmad Khalifa, Aminu Gamuwa, and Babatunde Rosanwo, a graduate student based in Poland: “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.”
In his reaction 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,” he said.
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 withing 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 countered saying citizens, especially a serving senator should be careful not to make statement that are capable of demoralising the troops fighting against insurgents assuring the people of the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to the security of every