Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recounted what Boko Haram insurgents told him in Maiduguri in 2011 when he spoke with them.

On Monday, he delivered a virtual address at the Murtala Muhammed Foundation’s (MMF) annual lecture, titled “Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing Insurgency, Banditry, and Kidnapping Across Nigeria.”

He attributed Nigeria’s insecurity to a lack of weapons following the civil war.

He said:

“We’re not going anywhere until we take national building seriously. Justice and equity. We must build a society where everyone feels he has a stake.

“The insecurity in the country was caused as a result of the ease to access weapons and since then we have been unable to address the issue; it keeps getting worse.

“In 2011 when Boko Haram was just showing its ugly head, I went to Maiduguri to try and find out a little bit more about Boko Haram and to also find out what their objective was apart from being interested in Sharia, they also complained that their followers had no job and, in their effort to getting something legitimate efforts to help their members, in the process, the government started chasing them and gunning them down.

“What I feared at that time seems to have been happening.

“At that time, Boko Haram had not many external connections, then, the ones they had would be Nigerians who had resources abroad and were helping them.”