This Day (Lagos)

2 January 2013

Nigeria: Boko Haram - Nigerian Christians in U.S. Petition Obama

Photo: Leadership
JTF soldiers in Jos

Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN), based in the United States of America had sent a written petition to the White House and President Barack Obama lamenting the continued killing of innocent Christian worshipers in the northern parts of Nigeria.

The Christian group alleged that on Christmas day in northern Nigeria, Boko Haram was busy slashing the throats of Christians right inside their churches or at their homes, adding that at least 15 of such barbaric killings have been reported in the past number of days, while worshippers had to watch in terror as their colleagues' throats were slashed open.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN,'Laolu Akande in connection with the 2012 Christmas day attacks by Boko Haram in Maidugiri, Borno State, the body urged the American Government to designate Boko Haram, as Foreign Terrorist Organization ( FTO).

"What we are asking today is whether President Barack Obama and the State Department are comfortable to be mere witnesses to this evil? Is President Obama not aware that they are cutting the throats of innocent Nigerians who are simply practising their faith?

"In the hope that President Obama is not comfortable with what is going on, we as Nigerian-Americans, are appealing to his humanity to please instruct the State Department to do what is right and to label the Boko Haram group an FTO.

However CANAN said US designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist group would send the warning signal to those financing and supporting the terrorists, that the game is up.

It said without such global intervention, Boko Haram financiers and supporters are being dangerously awarded a grant of impunity!

"We had warned that Boko Haram would continue its tradition of killing Nigerian Christians on Christmas day. Last week marked the third straight year that the terror group has murdered Nigerian Christians in the church on a Christmas day.

"But the problem is worse than that. This year (2012) alone Boko Haram has killed almost 800 Nigerians, most of whom are Christians. In the last three years, over 3000 have been sent to tragic deaths. Victims also include people from several other countries.

The group said President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had again over the weekend acknowledged his government's inability to contain the Boko Haram menace.

Quoting the Associated Press, CANAN said Jonathan's remarks offer a glimpse into "the worried leader's mind as his weak government remains unable to stop attacks by the Boko Haram."

"Our government in Washington DC, especially the White House and the State Department are fully aware of what is going on. But both President Barack Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have simply tolerated this impunity by their inaction.

"Already, American citizens have been affected, and the United Nations building in Abuja has been attacked by these terrorists. The US Congress has affirmed that Boko Haram is a threat to the US, especially with the group's suspected links to al-Qaeda, " it said.

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