Lauretta Onochie is the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media. In this interview, she says the President will never interfere in the jobs of the legislative and judicial arms of government, saying that the Federal Government will find the funders of Boko Haram sect this year. Excerpts: Are things truly getting worse for the government given the security situation in the country?
In terms of security, there is no way you can compare where we are now to where we were in 2015. It is not possible. Boko Haram had already started getting into Bayelsa State. They got to the South-East. They got to Lagos. In Abuja here, people did not go to Church. They did not go to the Mosque. People did not celebrate Christmas. In the North-East, children did not go to school for many years. Many children did not know where their parents were and many parents did not know where their children were, because this thing would happen while children were in school and everybody would run helter-skelter.
Our soldiers were not equipped. Our soldiers, who were sent to commit suicide at the hands of Boko Haram before the advent of President Muhammadu Buhari, used to buy bullets. They used to buy guns to go to war because they were not equipped. The morale was low. Today, we are miles away from where we used to be in 2015. But we still hear the story that our soldiers are being killed daily… It is an exaggeration. It is a lie from the pit of hell and we know where the pit of hell is. That is the PDP. But there are videos on that… They are Fake videos. They are making people afraid by using fake information. They will just come and say, “Oh, do you know that at Gwagwalada they killed ten people?” Meanwhile, nobody was killed. Do you mean sponsors of insecurity in Nigeria will be found? Yes, we can do that. If we really want to do that we can do it. You do not know where they meet because you do not know their location. You do not know people they are related to. You do not know their plans. The National Assembly has a role to play in this by making some laws. Certain laws were not in place when these things started. We are dealing with guerilla warfare. And in guerilla warfare you do not know where your enemy is. You do not know what he has. You do not know who is funding him. But this year, I think, we can try to find out who is funding them. What are the laws required to fight Boko Haram? They (legislators) need to make laws to support the fight against insurgency. They need to look at existing laws. I don’t think we have laws that punish people, who have been charged for terrorism. Maybe we just charge them with one flimsy thing, sentence them and after few years set them free. It is unacceptable. Anybody who tries to take another’s life or who tries to terrorise our nation should be jailed. Are you calling for death sentence? I don’t believe in death sentence. The person should not be killed. Even if he has killed somebody, he should live in solitary confinement for the rest of his life with hard labour to serve as a deterrent to others.