News

Nigerians Said to Be Disappointed Yet Skeptical about Terror Allegations

Professor Kabiru Mato of the University of Abuja says the father of alleged terror bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a well respected individual

Multimedia

Audio
  • Professor Kabiru Mato of University of Abuja spoke with Butty

James Butty

A U.S. law enforcement official said an unruly passenger, another Nigerian, was detained Sunday when a Northwest Airlines flight landed in Detroit, Michigan.

But the man, a Nigerian businessman, was later declared not a security threat. 

The plane was on the same route and carried the same flight number 253 as the one on Friday, when a 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to light an explosive substance that had been strapped to his body.

Kabiru Mato, head of the political science department at the University of Abuja said Nigerians are disappointed and skeptical about the allegations against Abdulmutallab.

“I think the reaction in Nigeria is that of some extent disappointment and some extent casting very serious doubts on the ability of the young man to carry out the crime that he is being accused of,” he said.

Mato said while Nigerians are not doubting U.S. and other Western officials about the allegations against Abdulmutallab, they are at the same time worried that a young man from such a noble background could have been involved in the alleged plot to blow up an airliner.

He confirmed reports in some U.S. newspapers that Abdulmutallab’s father might have informed U.S. authorities some time back about the change in his son’s behavior.

“Papers today have reported that the father kept noticing some fundamental changes to such an extent that he informed the American authorities through their embassy here in Abuja on the apparent change in attitude from his own son,” Mato said.

Mato said Nigerians also learnt that after the young Abdulmutallab finished his engineering studies in England, he went to Dubai for additional studies in business administration after which he allegedly established a link with groups in Yemen.

He said the young Abdulmutallab might have been recruited by some extremist groups because of his well-organized and composed character.

Mato, who said he knows the Abdulmutallab family personally, said he has not been able to speak with the older Abdulmutallab since the arrest of his son.

“I have not been able to talk to the father. Personally it’s quite a moment of grief for all of us, especially having known the character of the father, a very respected individual, someone who does not believe overt publicity and now he’s at a center stage of global attention because of the allegations against his child,” Mato said.

He said most Nigerians are feeling sympathy for the Abdulmutallab family rather than condemnation because of what the crime young Abdulmutallab was alleged to have committed.

Mato said he doesn’t believe the terrorism allegations against young Abdulmutallab are sufficient enough to cause diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and either the United State or Western Europe.

“The most serious crisis I think that Nigeria faces today is in the area of dubious businessmen that are all over the place, doubtful characters that continue to deceive people across the globe in the name of making money,” Mato said.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs