Thursday, 27 February 2014

News Release: Mustering The Political Will To Do The Right Thing

The Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC) has received reports of the recent dastardly act of Boko Haram, resulting in the brutal killing of forty three (43) students in Yobe State Nigeria, on Monday February 24th, 2014.  Prior to this recent killing, Boko Haram had also attacked and decimated two villages in Bornu State, the hot bed of Boko Haram, killing over one hundred (100) persons.

This Council believes that the lines of decency and humanity were crossed long before now by Boko Haram; but Nigeria did not muster the political will to confront the terrorist scourge before now.  We believe the die is now cast, and the government of the day must act within its capabilities, including in intelligence, socio-political programs, and military capacity, to halt this scourge.

Implications in the World Stage
Nigeria is Africa’s most significant power-player in the world stage; and so actions or inactions by the Nigerian government carry broad implications.  Every Nigerian life is valuable; from Bornu to Lagos, to Yobe, to Rivers, to Adamawa.  Every Nigerian life must be protected by the government of Nigeria with all the gusto the government can muster. 

The government must deploy all her capabilities to contain this scourge of killing of innocent citizens; or Nigerian may need to start to retreat from the benefits of being a regional power.  Since Nigeria aspires to hold her place as a regional power, that aspiration comes with serious responsibilities, to get one’s own house in order.  More so, as one of the worlds truly fast rising economies, and a regional power, Nigeria must act more boldly and decisively.
Further, Nigeria is the bedrock of ECOWAS, with an enviable track record in stabilizing various countries in the ECOWAS region.  However, Nigeria seems to be failing its own test as a regional power, even with an economy that is fast becoming the dominant economy in Africa. 

Handling Terrorism from the Inner Sanctum of Government
Nigeria’s current inability to stem this tide of domestic terrorism indicates that the problem is part internal, at the policy-making and implementation levels.  The sympathies of certain persons on the inside of government must be undermining the fight against Boko Haram.  This presents a serious crisis of its own, and heads may have to role, for the government to become fully cohesive, and operate as a team. 

Contacted at the Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC headquarters, the Executive Director of the Nigerian-American Leadership Council, Samuel Okey Mbonu, stated, “The time is now ripe for Nigeria to perform in front of the world, and prove its mettle as a regional power.  Failure is not an option, as failure means dragging most of West Africa down the tube of religious and ethnic intolerance, amidst a cacophony of failed states.  That should not be allowed to happen.” 

E. Terfa Ula-Lisa of the Council’s Advisory Board added “the political actors need to think about the survival of Nigeria as a whole, before fanning intolerance with their rhetoric.”

Also, the Council’s, Government Affairs Adviser, Kayode Tani-Olu, expressed serious concerns that “loss of life via terrorism in Nigeria has begun to assume alarming dimensions, which require a full blown government intervention.” 

In September 2013, the Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC) convened the first Boko Haram International Security Summit in Washington, which was soon followed by Boko Haram being proscribed as a terrorist organization by the US government in late 2013. The Council has proffered socio-political solutions to contain the scourge of domestic and cross-border terrorism in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.


Sam Walter,
Media Relations,                                                                              
Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC)                                                                                        
1701 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 300, NW Washington, DC 20006                                                           

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