Leadership (Abuja)

3 July 2012

Nigerians in U.S. Charge NSA Over Terrorist Killings

The New York Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the new National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to urgently stop the terrorist attacks in Nigeria.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday, the Chairman of the party in New York State, Chief Olufemi Omololu Sanyaolu said the 'senseless killing' must stop, adding that it was time the maiming of innocent people by the activities of Boko Haram group come to a stop.

Sanyaolu pressed further that the rate at which lives and properties of Nigerians are lost because of religion was getting to a dangerous turn, noting that the silence of Northern leaders by not condemning and rising up to check the activities of this group was of no help to the sovereignty and unity of the country.

The PDP scribe in New York added that the recent shake up within the security officials of the country by President Goodluck Jonathan was commendable, stressing that the government should also work with the international community in tackling terrorism.

Also, the Director of Region 2 of the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation in America (NIDOA), Mr. Fraklin Ekechukwu, condemned the continuous killing of innocent people in the Northern part of the country, saying that poverty was not a reason to kill, neither does religion.

"The fundamental problem of Boko Haram is lack of understanding of the uniqueness of Nigeria and the resilience of Nigerians to survive. The strength of Nigeria lies on our diversity and that needs to be communicated to the sect.

"It is however saddening that some people tend to protect the members of the Boko Haram. I find it difficult to believe that they cannot be flushed out, they are neighbours, attend the same mosque, work and carry out their day to day activities freely amongst fellows Nigerians and yet they cannot be flushed out", he said.

In his reaction, Mr. Femi Soneye, the Director of Project of the Alliance of Nigerians in the Diaspora (ANID), said that the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria must be understood as part of a complicated political context in a country striving to maintain national unity amongst an ethnically diverse population split evenly between Christians and Muslims.

According to Femi Soneye who is also the convener of the Nigerian Media Practitioners in Diaspora (NMPD), based in Washington, DC: "In as much as I welcome the statements of the Senate President and other leaders asking the Northern leaders to do more in helping to stop this wicked acts, I want to also believe that poverty is one of the major reasons that need to be addressed.

"Nigerians deserve more right now, they are hungry for more practical government assistance in their lives. We need a Homeland Security Department, outside of the Nigerian Police. While doing that, it need to institute police reform so that police are accountable at the local level, well trained and in touch with realities on the ground in order to proactively prevent violence, rather than react in the aftermath."

Femi Soneye, while speaking with LEADERSHIP, pressed further that the federal government should empower traditional leaders, who are currently underutilised, to play a constructive role in interfaith dialogue and conflict mitigation.

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