News / Africa

Boko Haram Tag Undermines Nigeria Peace Efforts, Say ‘Elders’

Suspected Boko Haram militants detained by military in Bukavu Barracks, Kano state, Nigeria, March 2012 file photo.
Suspected Boko Haram militants detained by military in Bukavu Barracks, Kano state, Nigeria, March 2012 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Nigeria’s Northern Elder’s Forum says the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization undermines President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to resolve the country’s internal security crisis.

Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for the Elders’ forum says Mr. Jonathan has shown good intensions to resolve the security challenges the country faces peacefully. But, his efforts, Abdullahi says would be thwarted by the official designation of Boko Haram and its suspected splinter group Ansaru as outlawed terrorist organizations.

“The quality of advice that the president should be getting on some of the very sensitive issues of national security, peace and stability in the country, I don’t think the quality of advice lives up to the standards that it ought to be,” said Abdullahi.

But Jonathan’s advisers, Abdullahi said, will be to blame if the security crisis worsens.

Abdullahi’s comments came after the administration declared Boko Haram and its suspected splinter group, Ansaru, to be outlawed terrorist organizations. The terrorist designation allows the government to impose prison sentences of a minimum of 20 years on group members or supporters.

Abdullahi said issuing the terrorist designation indicates the government is no longer interested in negotiating with the militant group to end the violence in parts of the country.

“Once they declared a group as a terrorist organization, it then precludes the possibility of ever sitting with them in any discussions, let alone negotiations,” continued Abdullahi, “particularly if most of these people are in hiding, they don’t even want to be identified or recognized. It takes certain palliatives and persuasions, and so on, to eventually bring them out. But if you are introducing obstacles there is nothing to deal with.”

Jonathan recently established a Committee on Reconciliation and Dialogue to hold talks with the Islamic sect to end the violence often carried out by Boko Haram in parts of the country.

“So the next thing that we expect to hear from the president is that he has disbanded the Committee on Reconciliation and Dialogue. That should be the logical sequence of events,” said Abdullahi.

He says both the state of emergency declared in three northern states and the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization will complicate attempts to finding solutions to the security crisis.

Boko Haram, based in Nigeria’s north, has been accused of carrying out violent attacks in an attempt to force the country to adopt strict Islamic law.

Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces.
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEF
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEFi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ejeta from: Warri
June 06, 2013 12:30 AM
Prof Ango Abdullahi is a confused personality. He call himself an elder but I choose to call him a juvenile old man. I sincerely believe from all his utterances so far as a BOko Haram sponsor and supporter. When Churches and UN premises were deliberately destroyed and thousands killed, he never speak out to condemn them. He is only interested in purportedly speaking for a group to attract "notice me" mentality. He is a failure both as a Vice Chancellor and an agriculturalist and adviser.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs