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Lai Mohammed blames late Murtala Mohammed for insurgency surge

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The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has point hand to the military coup that instated Murtala Mohammed as Head of State to be responsible for the insecurity issues troubling the country.

Had the coup not happened, Information Minister Lai Mohammed says, units like Boko Haram would have difficulties recruiting children for its cause.

Lai spoke of a national pledge held by Yakubu Gowon’s administration that was to ensure free, compulsory primary education for all children in the country. This national pledge was the government’s blueprint to prevent further occurrence of a national civil war.

But the July 1975 bloodless Coup d’etat of Colonel Joseph Nanven Garba halted Gowon’s plans.

“Regrettably, that administration was overthrown two years later and all the lofty ideas and all the preparations that were needed to ensure that every child of school age acquired free and compulsory education were jettisoned,” Lai said on Monday on Channels Television’s Newsnight.

And in failing to advance Gowon’s plans for nationwide free primary education, Lai reasons that Murtala had created a market of 13.2 million children ready for insurgents to recruit from.

“We are paying the price today […] that is the market which Boko Haram, bandits, IPOB and other militants, that is the market where they recruit people,” he said.

The minister is convinced that one of the measures to fight insecurity in the country is to adopt this “jettisoned” project of Gowon.

The latest comment about Murtala Mohammed is one of many narratives by the Buhari administration to premise why insecurity has been difficult to contain within the country.

The Buhari administration had, in previous years, played politics with the insecurity challenges in the country and defended itself by blaming the opposition from which it only took the reins of government in 2015.

Having previously urged Nigerians to “wait on God” for solutions to security challenges, the president and his administration has been calling meeting after meetings in the past weeks to discuss probable solutions amid backlash from politicians and Nigerians.

This week, senators and governors from the APC joined the opposition to demand results from President Buhari.

Smart Adeyemi urged APC senators in a Senate plenary on Tuesday to increase the pressure on President Buhari and not keep mute because of their p arty affiliations with the president.

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