News / Africa

Self-Identified Nigerian Politician Questions Government Anti-Terror Strategy

Men believed to be members of Islamist sect Boko Haram and suspected of being involved in a series of bomb attacks wait for the start of a court session at the Wuse magistrate court in Abuja, September 13, 2011.
Men believed to be members of Islamist sect Boko Haram and suspected of being involved in a series of bomb attacks wait for the start of a court session at the Wuse magistrate court in Abuja, September 13, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
A man, who identified himself as a Nigerian politician, an activist and opinion leader from northern Kano state, said the hunt for Boko Haram militants should not strictly be a military or security issue. 

Instead, he said the government must involve Christian and Muslim leaders in the process.

He agreed to be interviewed by VOA on condition of anonymity because he fears Boko Haram and government security forces might harm him or his family.  

The self-identified politician said northern religious leaders and politicians are not Boko Haram sympathizers.

“First of all, government officials and security agencies’ diagnosis of the reasons why Boko Haram arose was basically wrong. That prevented a lot of elites and elders from dabbling into it because the ones who attempted to do that were all shouted down.  They were labeled as sympathizers, sponsors and supporters,” he said.

The man said regular northerners were also isolated by the harsh modus operandi (methods) of the Joint Task Force (JTF’s).

“There was gross violation of human rights; there was no accountability, no oversight from anybody. They could just [go] into your house, pick you up without anybody holding to an account.  So, from this brief analysis, you can see that, from the top of the ladder to the lower end of the ladder, everybody was picked up for one reason or another.  If the government had involved the people in the community, I can guarantee you it would never have [been] raised to the level that it did,” he said.

Butty interview with Anonymous
Butty interview with Anonymousi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

He said northern politicians, religious and civil society leaders have been trying on the family level to end the Boko Haram menace.

“You cannot get involved because, even if you come up publicly to engage other members of the society, we don’t know who Boko Haram is.  They don’t wear its hat; they don’t wear a T-shirt that proclaims they are Boko Haram.  So, all you do is to talk to the younger elements in your family to be aware of these people. They should not join any group; they should watch their movement; just moral persuasion,” he said.

“It is beyond question that I abhor, I detest, and I condemn Boko Haram in its totality, and I’m not the only one.  Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of all northerners are not in support of Boko Haram,” he added.

The anonymous caller’s comments came as witnesses from the northern city of Maiduguri Monday accused security forces of killing 30 people.

Residents said the violence took place Monday after a bomb exploded on an army patrol, wounding two soldiers.
               
Maiduguri is at the center of operations for Boko Haram, which is blamed for killing more than 1,400 people in recent years.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid