News / Africa

Nigerian Official Praises US Cooperation in Fight against Terrorism

President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The United States declaration of Boko Haram and Ansaru as foreign terrorist organizations is a significant boost to Nigeria’s effort to end their violent campaigns, says Rueben Abati, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan.

Abati says the US’ action deepens a strong collaboration with the West African nation, in the fight against global terrorism. The designation denies the groups access to U.S. financial institutions and allows banks to freeze assets held in the United States.

“What the US has done is an expression of further support for what the Nigerian authorities are doing, and a clear indication indeed that tackling terrorism is a global responsibility,” said Abati. “For the Nigerian government this is a welcome and constructive development, and it provides further opportunities for deepening the existing collaboration between both countries in dealing with the scourge of terrorism and insurgency.”

In a meeting in October, Presidents Barack Obama and Jonathan discussed violence perpetrated by armed groups, including Boko Haram in some parts of Nigeria.  Abati said both countries have demonstrated determination to defeat terrorism in the West African country.

“Both Abuja and Washington will work together to make sure that terrorism does not continue to pose a threat to human progress in Nigeria or in any parts of the world. So there is that existing understanding, and what has happened now just takes it further,” said Abati.

Abati also says the designation strengthens the Nigeria administration’s efforts to thwart violence often carried out by Boko Haram and Ansaru, which creates chaos and insecurity in several parts of the West African country.

“It reinforces the position of Nigeria, and puts to end terrorism, [from] the insurgencies to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons….[It] is something that requires the cooperation of the international community,” said Abati. “What has happened is clearly a demonstration of that -- that wherever it exists, terrorism is a threat not just to the immediate community, but [also] to the entire world.” 

Abati said that the country will hold Boko Haram accountable for the committing gross human rights violations against the people of Nigeria.

Last June, the Nigerian government designated Islamic sect Boko Haram a terrorist organization.

Earlier this year, the government declared a state of emergency in some Nigeria northern states as a strategy to curb violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. The measure has been renewed for a six month period, according to Abati.

“The security agencies have shown great capacity in containing this scourge, in routing the terrorists and displacing them, and making it impossible for them to continue to challenge the sovereignty of the Nigerian state,’ said Abati.

Critics however say the Nigerian government has failed to rein in the violence and insecurity in parts of the country. They accused the administration of failing its core constitutional mandate of protecting civilians from harm. Abati disagreed.

“That will be an incorrect assessment,” said Abati. “A fair assessment would be a commendation of the efforts of the Jonathan administration, to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians…a lot of successes have been recorded and the administration nothing, but commendation. Normalcy has been restored to [some] states [and] the threat of terrorism has reduced.”
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviser
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviseri
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 18, 2013 9:19 AM
Boko haram is an arm of government in Jonathan's administration, though it was created by his opponents whom he defeated in the elections. Mr. president is using the boko haram saga to vote much more money for his administration. In this country, security, though very important, is one drain pipe which politicians use to siphon money away to foreign banks. There is no accountability, no ceiling to its fund allocation; it is open ended. From such monies they pay those fomenting the troubles, and ill-equip security operatives to be ineffective in tackling security challenges. The Nigerian police is shared to guide politicians and families, with the remnant distributed to watch establishments like banks and companies etc.

A few unfavored others still go unchecked to do "road block", collecting "bush allowances" and illegal toll fees (tips) especially from motorists and anyone else who has the misfortune of falling into their trap. The country is largely left in the hands of miscreants for their escapades. It is the political ruling class's fault to leave the larger countryside un-policed which accords hooligans the impetus to cruise the country with impunity. Until Nigeria returns to proper policing, reinstate and invigorate the CID/plain clothes detectives department, the likes of boko haram and ansaru will continue to defy security in the country.

by: Osuagw
November 17, 2013 10:03 AM
The ambivalence of most governments of Northern Nigeria over federal government attempts to control the boko haram terrorists is very disturbing and ominous. Could boko haram be enjoying the support of the northern Nigerian eminent politicians or could the boko haram have been let loose by the said politicians and state government ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs