24 May 2012

Nigeria: Why FG, Scholars Oppose U.S. Terror Listing of Boko Haram

Photo: NNTV
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Facts have emerged as to why the Federal Government, prominent scholars and diplomats are vehemently opposed to the move by the United States (US) to formally list Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO).

The federal government raised its objection to the plan ahead of last Tuesday's meeting of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, with top White House and State Department officials in Washington DC.

Nigeria's Ambassador to the US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, who confirmed Azazi's meeting with the American officials, said the government was opposed to such a designation because it might subject Nigerian travellers to intensive search and scrutiny around the world, especially in western capitals and cities.

Ambassador Adefuye in his defence of government's action, said he feared the likelihood of Nigerians being opened to all kinds of harassments at international airports once such a designation comes from the U.S., including intensive and intrusive body searches.

The envoy said the government would on its own contain the Boko Haram menace as it did in quelling the militancy in the Niger Delta region of the country.

Gen. Azazi, accompanied by Adefuye, met with White House officials and was billed later same day to attend another parley at the State Department, which had come under pressure both from the American Congress and the Justice Department to declare Boko Haram a global terror group.

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