Disturbed by the seeming lackadaisical attitudes of some foreign allies in the war on terror, the United States has been urged to provide more concrete support to Nigeria’s war against terrorism beyond the current ambivalence and grandstanding.
The National Coordinator, Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness (CISA), Mr. Chidi Omeje, made the call during a media interaction hosted by I-Nigerian Initiative in Abuja.
The civil society group, which engages in creating and spreading security awareness among Nigerians, wondered why the acclaimed global linchpin in the fight against terrorism is foot-dragging in assisting Nigeria in the face of deteriorating insecurity orchestrated by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Omeje said: “This is not time for playing hide and seek… It is period for actions, real actions against unnecessary excuses and blame-games.”
The group deplored the cold indifference of US towards Nigeria in her time of need, noting that now is the time for the true friends and allies of Nigeria to declare their stand.
“For almost two years, US government refused to label Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO), even with glaring evidences of major atrocities displayed by the group against unarmed citizens.
“Following the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, the US and its allies announced that they were sending military help but up till now, the less than 20 personnel sent by the US have continued to stay in the cosy offices of the US Embassy in Abuja, while data gathered by the country’s mission in Chad through reconnaissance over North-east Nigeria has never been shared with Nigeria.”
According to Omeje, the spate of bombings and sundry attacks on civilian targets in the northeastern part of Nigeria is enough to attract global support for the Nigerian government and its security forces.
From our enquiries, it was also discovered that for more than 20 years, the United States government has not endorsed the sale of Western military hardware to Nigeria and this has led to a situation whereby our country always resort to getting supplies from the alternative market or shop from other power blocks.
“How is the situation in Syria and Iraq different from that of Nigeria that the US decided to send in troops and its Airforce to confront the IS terrorists?”
He noted that it is no longer tenable to keep citing alleged abuse of human rights by Nigerian troops as the reason for the unconscionable indifference of the United States and its allies to the worsening terrorist attacks in Nigeria.
“Nobody, least of all the citizens of Nigeria, is convinced about the altruistic intention of the United States in constituting a stumbling block against Nigeria’s efforts to stamp out terrorism in its shores. By refusing to provide technical or logistic support and even blocking arms sale to Nigeria in the face of grave terrorist attacks on our people, the US and its allies have displayed the worst kind of friendship towards our country.
“Their cold indifference and gross insensitivity towards us in our time of need confirms the widely held belief that there is indeed a grand conspiracy to dismember Nigeria and it seems that the ongoing terrorism provides them better latitude.
“We equally recall that the US was actively in collaboration with Chad in brokering the phantom ceasefire between Nigeria and Boko Haram insurgents and it is on record that hours after the ceasefire announcement, when there were media reports about the terrorists renewing attacks on some towns and villages, the only statement from the US was for Nigeria not to break the ceasefire agreement and nothing in form of admonition for the terrorists,” the group alleged.
In order to assuage the feelings of Nigerians who feel betrayed by the actions and inactions of the United States and its allies, the group called on President Barack Obama to expeditiously approve a robust support programme for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.
“As Africans, we cherish the neighbour who comes to our aid in our time of distress but we consider it ‘salt upon injury’ the antics of a ’friend’ who denigrate us all in the name of assisting us,” it concluded.