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European MP accuses APC of funding Boko Haram, calls for probe

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A senior member of the European Parliament, Franz Obermayr MEP, has accused the Opposition All Progressive’s Congress (APC) of channeling European Parliament financial aid to Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria, and called on the European Commission to investigate alleged concerns over the party’s financial and political allegiance with the terror group.

The Nigerian Times learnt exclusively that Franz Obermayr, of Austrian Freedom Party, currently the most popular political party in Austria, made the statements in a press release issued on 16 September and covered widely by the European press.

The Nigerian Times also learnt that Obermayr has been working closely with Stand for Peace, a Muslim-Jewish interfaith organisation dedicated to countering extremism and promoting social and religious cohesion. Oberamyr has also called on EU election observers to closely scrutinise the links between the APC and Boko Haram in the run up to the 2015 presidential election.

He said: “In Nigeria’s case, a large proportion of the subsidies from Brussels are used in the north of the country. The federal states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the extreme north-east of the country are precisely the areas in which Boko Haram’s campaign of terror is largely tolerated by the authorities. The aforementioned sub-republics are governed by the All Progressive Congress (APC)”

In the statement made available to The Nigerian Times, Obermayr says that all further European Parliament cooperation and funding to Nigeria should be subject to the findings of a report into the close relationships between political parties and terrorist groups in the country, suggesting that all development aid should be immediately suspended if any wrong doing is exposed.

Turning to individuals in the APC, Mr Obermayr raised the US Embassy memo which states that former Vice-President and 2015 Presidential hopeful, Atiku Abubukar, received money from Al-Qaeda to “destabilise the south of the country” and the recent defection of Femi Fani-Kayode from the APC because of their “clear islamist agenda and sympathies with Boko Haram”.

Further, in a statement that highlights widespread concern ahead of the 2015 presidential elections, he said: “Even the most senior man in the APC, former Nigerian head of state and presidential candidate, Mohammadu Buhari, was quoted in the British newspaper The Guardian back in 2001 calling for sharia law to be introduced throughout Nigeria, including the Christian-dominated south.”

The announcement from Obermayr and Stand for Peace follows a similar call from Andrew Rosindell MP, of the UK parliament, for an inquiry into the relationship between members of the APC and Boko Haram.

 

“Unfortunately, in many cases a lot of Europe’s political decision-makers are negligent when it comes to contacts and financial aid for associations and political parties which in reality act as camouflage organisations and as a result often open the doors to European institutions for radical Islamist groups,” is the criticism voiced by Austrian Freedom Party MEP Franz Obermayr, who has already called on the Commission for greater transparency on this issue in a parliamentary survey.

“In Nigeria’s case, a large proportion of the subsidies from Brussels are used in the north of the country. The federal states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the extreme north-east of the country are precisely the areas in which Boko Haram’s campaign of terror is largely tolerated by the authorities. The aforementioned sub-republics are governed by the All Progressive Congress (APC), which is now also standing for the presidency in the upcoming 2015 elections”.

“The leaders of this party have repeatedly been linked with radical Islam and their terrorist groups,” warns Obermayr. Wikileaks for example published a memo from the US Embassy to the effect that the former Vice-President and APC member Atiku Abubakar received money from Al-Qaeda to destabilise the south of the country.

 

“And lastly even the most senior man in the APC, former Nigerian head of state and presidential candidate, Mohammadu Buhari, was quoted in the British newspaper The Guardian back in 2001 calling for sharia law to be introduced throughout Nigeria, including the Christian-dominated south,” Obermayr went on, referring to the manifestly close links between the APC and Islamist terrorism in the region.

 

Obermayr said : “During its history Europe too had to learn the painful lesson that a semblance of democratic legitimacy did not prevent brutal and inhuman regimes from gaining power. Against the backdrop of the upcoming elections, all evidence of links between Boko Haram and political parties in Nigeria must be carefully scrutinised, documented and then reported to the European Parliament and the general public. Future cooperation with Nigeria should depend on these reports.”

According to Obermayr, it goes without saying that development aid should also be suspended immediately if suspicions are confirmed in the above-mentioned regions.

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