News / Africa

Support for Nigeria Could End Boko Haram Violence, Says Official

French President Francois Hollande, third right, shakes hands with Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, third left, as other leaders look on for family photo in Paris, May 17, 2014.
French President Francois Hollande, third right, shakes hands with Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, third left, as other leaders look on for family photo in Paris, May 17, 2014.
Peter Clottey
An adviser to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan says the declaration of war on Boko Haram by African leaders and the international community is a game changer that could help end the violence perpetrated by the Islamist militants.

Reuben Abati says intelligence reports show that Boko Haram has now become the al-Qaida of West Africa with links to other international terrorist groups and has the aim to destabilize not only Nigeria and its neighboring countries, but also the entire West, Central African and Sahel regions.

His comments followed a recent summit organized by France President Francois Hollande, which was attended by leaders from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger about violence carried out by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria and neighboring countries. 

Abati says the decision by the international community to volunteer support for Nigeria’s efforts to combat the Islamic extremists is an important message.

“Intelligence has revealed [Boko Haram] is linked not just to al-Qaida but also to AQIM [the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb], to al Shabab and other terrorist groups in the world. The objective is to destabilize Nigeria, destabilize West Africa and target other countries,” said Abati. “Activities of that group have shown very clearly that this is a group that constitutes a threat to our civilization, to our democracy [and] to our common humanity.”

The summit in Paris marks a turning point in Nigeria’s fight to end the Boko Haram insurgency and attacks on unarmed civilians, according to Abati.

He says the fight against Boko Haram needs support as part of a bid to end global terrorism.

But, critics say the Paris summit was yet another talk shop, which they said is unlikely to make any significant impact on the violence perpetrated by the militants.

Abati disagreed. He says Nigeria’s neighboring countries including Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad pledged at the summit to work to ensure terrorism does not overwhelm their countries.

“The Paris summit was restricted to the issue of the neighboring countries working together with [the] international community,” said Abati. “The countries agreed to cooperate together, to coordinate patrols, to establish a system to pull intelligence together, to establish mechanism for information exchange, to work together on border surveillance, and then work with the rest of the world… to ensure there is a global meeting of minds.” 

Some analysts have accused the government of not doing enough to search for the school girls abducted by Boko Haram last month in spite of the administration’s repeated promises. They contend that security agents are poorly equipped to have any success against the well-equipped militants.

On a government Twitter feed, Abati posted pictures of the military with a caption, security agents searching for the girls.

“The security forces of Nigeria are committed, they are patriotic [and] they stand ready to engage the terrorists,” said Abati. “We face and asymmetrical kind of war…with the support we are receiving from the international community in terms of technical expertise, in terms of intelligence gathering can only make these security forces better and more prepared. We see all of these as a good development,” he said.
Clottey interview with Reuben Abati, adviser to President Jonathan
Clottey interview with Reuben Abati, adviser to President Jonathani
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ode o. Ugepuk from: nigeria
May 21, 2014 11:14 AM
I take exception to the notion that islam preaches peace.


by: konja
May 20, 2014 11:34 PM
why is all these senseless killings comnon in islam populated areas?....yet their clerics denounce it publicly while these guys claim taking thier lessons from them?.


by: ali bab from: new york
May 20, 2014 7:07 PM
The international terrorism can be defeated by team work and coordinated effort to accept the challenge and plan an strategy to defeated them. they are coward and take advantage of poor people who are living in village that far away of law enforcement or may be the law enforcement agencies do not exist . they terrorize the innocent people. it should be solution to put these people out of business.

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