The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, has taken a swipe at the international community for waiting until the Boko Haram issue degenerated into the abduction of the students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State before giving the matter the deserved attention.
This was as he cautioned all international collaborators on the rescue of the abducted schoolgirls against adopting a ‘fire brigade approach’ but rather to ensure a long term strategy to defeat the sect.
Wali, while speaking when he received the United States Under- Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Sarah Sewall, in Abuja yesterday, however expressed appreciation to the US for its support on terrorism in Nigeria.
“Wherever there is a threat to peace and security, the US is always championing that cause to come to the aid of the weak and the poor but under the circumstances, unfortunately, Nigeria did not get the attention it needed to get in terms of security challenges until the Chibok incident.”
“Nigeria has been dealing with this issue of boko haram for a long time but unfortunately it took Chibok and the girls to really bring to the attention of the international community what we have been struggling with all these years.
“The whole attention on Nigeria today is on Chibok and those girls because the socio-media is awash with bring-back-our-girls,” he added.
He said the fight against terrorism and insurgency is one that ought to be continued even after the abducted girls are rescued especially as insecurity or instability in Nigeria is bound to affect the sub-region and the continent eventually.
“…It is more like fire brigade situation because there is a particular incident which the whole world want to see taken care of,… and after that they go back. It is not and I would want to appeal to the international community, it is not.”
“After this, we will have to continue to plan for a long term cooperation and relationship on how to curtail the menace of Boko Baram because the abduction of those school girls is one event in the case of happenings in the country,” he explained.
He commended the US for having been a long term supporter of Nigeria’s development with several bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation.
Wali noted that there are a lot of expectations on the US over the Chibok matter.
“… I learnt that some of the people are already on ground and know discussions are already on going. Therefore we look forward to great accomplishment and technical support from the US and the capacity building that we need, to contain the situation.
We are very happy with the team here to support us and help over come the present situation. This is something that has been worrying and disheartening for every Nigerian,” he added.
The minister expressed confidence in the ability of the US to help Nigeria arrest the situation.
Sewall in her address, said the current situation in Nigeria has brought to fore, the enduring nature of Boko Haram.
She added that it had therefore become necessary for the US and the international community to curb the scourge which has started to spread into neighbouring countries.
She maintain that the US- Nigeria’s relationship on Boko Haram has existed for years.
Sewall is in Nigeria to meet with Government officials over the current security situation.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called on the federal government not to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect or swap the abducted schoolgirls for imprisoned sect members.
He, however, noted that Nigeria must work to see to the end of the sect, else the sect would bring down the nation.
Speaking at the NCPC Conference of States meeting in Abuja Tuesday, Okoh expressed hope that Nigeria would ‘come out fine at the end of the tunnel.”
“If we do not bring down boko haram, boko haram will bring down the country,” he warned.