BY: VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA: Federal Government, yesterday, blamed the international community for the delay intervention.
The United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) had, few days ago, accused the Federal Government of rejecting their offer to assist in the search for the abducted schoolgirls by the insurgents.
Speaking, yesterday, while receiving the US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Sarah Sewall, in Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Wali, argued that Nigeria did not get the prompt attention it needed from international community since inception of terrorism few years ago.
Wali, who thanked the US for sending a team to support Nigeria, said it was disheartening that it took the abduction of the girls in Chibok to draw the international attention.
“Of course, Nigeria has been dealing with the situation of Boko Haram for quite a few years which we all know but unfortunately, it took Chibok and the girls to really bring the attention of the international community to what we have been struggling with all these years.
“The US historically has been the defender of democracy and human rights and has been promoting peace and security worldwide. And therefore, whenever there is a threat to peace and security, the US should always champion that course to come to the aid of the weak and to come to the aid of the poor.
“But under the circumstances, unfortunately, Nigeria did not get the attention that needs to get in terms of security challenges until Chibok. So, the whole attention of the world community is on Nigeria today, is on Chibok, is on those girls because the social media is awash with ‘Bring Back Our Girls,'” he said.
The minister who expressed appreciation for the intervention, said the effort should not end with Chibok girls.
His words: “The influx now is more like fire brigade situation where there is a particular incidence that the whole world wants to see taken care of; that ok, we will take care of that may be the world may go back again as usual. It is not. I would want to appeal to the international community that it is not.
“After this, we will now have to continue to plan a long time cooperation and relationship as to how to contain the menace of Boko Haram because the abduction of those school kids is one event in series of happenings that have been happening in the country.”
Speaking earlier, Sewall said the US is committed to support Nigeria in its effort at stamping out insurgency in the country.
The US Under Secretary underscored her country’s commitment to supporting the Nigerian government’s efforts to find more than 200 missing girls.
She emphasised the importance of a comprehensive approach to combatting violent extremism, building law enforcement capability, protecting civilians, and respecting human rights.
Sewall further noted that a key focus of the U.S.-Nigerian bilateral relationship is combatting violent extremist groups and building law enforcement capacity while protecting civilians and strengthening respect for human rights.