HOPES were buoyed recently when the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, disclosed that the world’s foremost superpower is ready to assist in exposing those behind terrorism in Nigeria.
At a meeting with journalists in Abuja on Monday, May 30, 2021, Leonard was asked whether the USA was willing to name terrorism sponsors in Nigeria. She was quoted as saying: “That is something we are very eager to partner Nigeria on. I have had at least three conversations in the last two months on this subject. I won’t like to go into details”.
This raised the hopes of Nigerians because it is widely believed that such external stimuli from a country of America’s massive military and intelligence capabilities can help in hastening the end of terrorism in Nigeria. It has long been known that jihadists, terrorism sympathisers and enablers have always occupied high positions in our country.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan once lamented openly that there were Boko Haram agents in his government. Apart from this, the few times that some names of occupants of certain government offices were referred to were done in the form of rumours.
The only time that sponsors were concretely specified was when, in November last year, six Nigerians living in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, were sentenced for funding the Boko Haram terrorists. Besides Boko Haram, we have other groups actively perpetrating acts of terror throughout the country.
These include those that the Muhammadu Buhari government calls “Bandits”, who are killing, abducting school children and other innocent citizens for ransom, and attacking military targets in the North West.
The other equally deadly terrorist groups are the militants posing as “herdsmen”, with various known groups acting as their mouthpieces.
Claiming “ownership” of Nigeria, these terrorist groups have been systematically massacring indigenous Nigerians, dispossessing them of their lands, kidnapping for ransom and enjoying the tacit protection of the authorities. These groups had since 2015 been named by the Global Terrorism Index, GTI, as the fourth deadliest terror groups in the world.
If these terror groups and their sponsors are allowed to continue in their bloodthirsty adventures in Nigeria, we are heading steadily towards Afghanistan and Darfur. As a traditional, strategic ally of Nigeria, we hope the USA will help in keeping Nigeria a free, multi-religious, democratic federal republic under secular constitutional rule. These are our founding principles.
The enemies in our midst must not be allowed to continue levying wars against law-abiding indigenous Nigerians for their ethnic and religious gratification. They must be exposed.