Former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has said the insurgency by Boko Haram was caused by the feeling that the South alienates the North.
He said those in the North felt they were being alienated by those in the South, while the Federal Government had allegedly long ignored the feelings of the northerners.
He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress of turning the insurgency into a political game.
In an online interview with our correspondent, Campbell, who authored the book, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink, said the insurgency rocking Nigeria was being treated by the political parties as “political football.”
According to Campbell, a Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, the feelings of alienation and marginalisation go deeper than the problem of poverty the North is grappling with.
He said, “Alienation and marginalisation have far more complicated roots than just poverty. My sense is that many in northern Nigeria feel “disrespected” by their fellow countrymen, and certainly Abuja has long ignored it.”
The US diplomat said Nigeria’s industry players, power brokers and opinion leaders might have added to the growing frustration in the North because fewer investment opportunities were made available and that some opinion leaders usually dismissed the region as being “backward.”
These, Campbell said, were conditions that the sect was capitalising on.