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Ex-president says he spent 2 days with Taliban militants

He said failure of the religious leaders to instill the right values into their followers, escalated the extremism issue.

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While speaking at the 2016 national summit and 4th international colloquium organised by the Centre for Human Security at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun state; he blamed religious leaders for the spread of extremism in the country.

“I went to Syria when I was president of Nigeria. One of the places I was taken to was a refugee camp where those refugees have been since 1948, nothing has been done to them. How do you want their children to think?” he asked.

“In Norway, I met some members of the Taliban. We spent two days together. They are in the second echelon of the leadership, I was told the top ones will not come out and when we listened to them, we are bound to say yes, they can get something better than they were getting.”

Obasanjo also blamed parents for not devoting adequate attention to the training of their children.

“If we do not get it right from home, we have started losing the battle. Communalism is going down the drain. There is popular saying that four eyes brought a child to the world and 200 eyes nurtured the child. But where are the 200 eyes of the community?” he asked.

“We do everything with impunity. We have been dealing with issues beyond us. We ought to prevent it. Prevention is even cheaper than cure. Can we prevent? Can prevention be part or best of our solution? We can also see where things are going down. We have home or houses, what happened at home? What do we teach? Moral training starts from home. Home is very important, but parents do many wrongs.”

He urged the international community to prioritise fairness in the fight against insecurity, noting that it is the only way to foster peace.

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