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From former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, came a bombshell yesterday. He said the war against Boko Haram is not yet over until every Nigerian displaced by insurgency, returns home.

Atiku said Boko Haram still occupies a geographical enclave called the Sambisa Forest and that means we cannot say the war is over and many of the displaced persons are still afraid to return home because of fear of possible attacks.

Atiku spoke during the 11th annual Founders’ Day of American University of Nigeria (AUN) ceremony in Yola, the Adamawa State capital. He said: “We cannot say it’s over until the survivors of this insurgency receive the help they need, including psychological therapy to deal with the trauma they have been through.

“It is the basic right of every Nigerian to live in his local community, go to their churches, mosques and their children are free to attend school and their women go to their markets, Atiku said.” He stressed the need for government to fast-track the rebuilding of basic infrastructure in places recovered from Boko Haram, so that the people can go back to their homes.

Atiku challanged leaders and the political class to demonstrate to young Nigerians that it is better to live than to die so that the appeal to join Boko Haram will not attract them. Atiku challanged youths to always make their views about government activities and policies known. On AUN and state of the of the country.

“Looking back and looking around, we have made tremendous progress. The little acorn is growing into a promising oak. But there’s a lot still left to be done. As you know, the work of building a great university never really finishes. A university is a living organism. It has to keep growing; it is continuously nourished. It becomes ever more complex, but also integrated, more extended, and more interesting.

“This past year has been particularly challenging for us and for the country. The country’s economy, which had remained weak, slid into a recession. There has been little public spending as the new government in Abuja and most state capitals try to figure out how to proceed with governance, just as oil production and revenues plummeted. And when citizens, including parents, have little income to spend, especially in the midst of uncertainty, the effect spreads to various sectors of the economy, including higher education. 


Responding, Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen Abubakar Rabe, said:

“While we recognise and respect the views of our esteemed citizens on national discourse, issues of national security concern deserves some caution… especially as the operation is still on and we have and continued to make unprecedented progress over the insurgents especially in denying them freedom of action and movement and most significantly, the rescue of persons from the group.


“While we advise our citizens against politisation of security. We are committed to eradicating the insurgents and other forms of criminal activities wherever it surfaces..it is a civic responsibility of citizens to contribute in their ways and means of confronting the national crisis with a view to eliminating this menace. We know what we have done and people are appreciative of stabilising the North-East in particular and the country in general.”

President of AUN, Yola, Prof. (Mrs.) Margee Ensign, said the university, Africa’s development university, is training dynamic leaders that would solve Nigeria’s economic, social and technological problems. Ensign said the university is setting the pace in helping Nigeria find solution to its problems.

The Founders Day, according to her, was set aside to reflect on the founding principles of the AUN established Atiku. The day celebrates excellence, hardwork, integrity and service.

During the event, awards and prizes were given to students and winners of the STEM wizkid competition. Award of recognition for stellar performances in community service was also presented.

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