Mahama takes on Boko Haram in address at US Christian university

Former President John Dramani Mahama has underscored the role of religious co-existence in bolstering Ghana’s peace in a lecture delivered at an American University on October 5. 2022.

Mahama was a special guest of honour at the 2022 Liberty University Convocation in Michigan where he delivered a speech to a packed auditorium.

He described Ghana as “an island of religious calmness in a sea of turbulence,” citing how “almost all our surrounding neighbours have in recent times experienced some major form of insurgency, coup d’etats or other conflicts, including religious conflicts.”

He explained the situation in Ghana’s northern neighbours, Burkina Faso and Mali, where insurgents are running roughshod.

He further cited the case of Boko Haram in Nigeria and how their activities are far from the variant of Islamic jihad that they professed.

He said of Boko Haram, that it “is a terrorist group that operates mainly in Nigeria and around the Lake Chad region. This terrorist group gained world infamy when they abducted over 200 girls from a secondary school in a town called Chibok.

“Many of these groups lay claim to a puritanical concept of Islamic jihad. But the fact that they are indiscriminate over who they attack, including killing their own fellow Muslims, gives us an indication of the extent of their perversion,” he stressed.

“There are also ISIS and bandits operating in the Sahelian region,” he added before stressing the need for leadership at all levels, the family, school, church, government with the view to taking responsibility to inform youth about threats out there.

Governments, he said, must guarantee peace and security and avenues to combat youth unemployment so that youth don’t become easy recruits due to frustration and lack of opportunity.

Boko Haram is a terrorist group that has for over a decade been operating across Nigeria but predominantly in the Northeastern states of Borno, Yola and Adamawa.

Their operations also extend across the Lake Chad region, that is northeastern Nigeria, parts of Niger and Chad as well as the far north region of Cameroon. A Joint Multinational Taskforce has largely tried to deal with their cross-national threats.