Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof Adebowale Adefuye and the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN have both agreed to work together towards the elimination of terrorism in Nigeria, even if through different approaches, Empowered Newswire reports.
At a meeting with leaders of the group on Thursday afternoon at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, Adefuye disclosed that the incidence of terrorism attacks in Nigeria would have been greater than what it currently is, if not for the government’s onslaught against Boko Haram.
Adefuye who identified with the fact that many innocent Nigerians have been unjustifiably killed in the terror attacks, especially Christians, noted that “we are no less repulsed by this violence, our revulsion is not less than yours.”
He added that “preventive measures which have been put in place by the federal government has reduced the incidence of the attacks.”
According to Nigeria’s Ambassador the US government has also been actively backing the federal government in quelling the activities of the terror group.
“The rapidity, frequency of Boko Haram violence has been prevented by our forces and Americans backing us,” he disclosed, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan, himself, the federal government and CANAN are united in terminating the activities of Boko Haram.
But the Ambassador objected however to the call for the designation of the group by the US government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO, which the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN have been actively clamoring for in the US since the group’s inception in September this year.
In his own remarks the leader of the CANAN delegation to the Ambassador Archbishop Joseph Alexander, a trustee of the group, stated that concerted international efforts are needed to end the Boko Haram attacks.
Other CANAN leaders at the meeting included the group’s Executive Director, Pastor Laolu Akande, CANAN’s Maryland State Associate Coordinator, Dr, Mercy Obamogie, Washington DC Representative, Emmanuel Ogebe, Pastors Joseph Akiyode, Tony Ojoibukun and Deacon Ralph Osamor, CANAN’s Security Coordinator.
The Archbishop who is also the Founding Bishop of the New Covenant Ministries based in New York and with affiliates around the world said “on our minds is the peace of the Nigerian nation, we need to get other nations to help Nigeria end the terrorism of Boko Haram.”
Alexander said the killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians must stop and the reign of fear, which he said has become rather troubling especially in the north of Nigeria.
While thanking the Nigerian Ambassador for his openness and active engagement with the Nigerian Diaspora in the US, the leader of the CANAN delegation added that the designation of Boko Haram as a FTO will enable the US government to go after the resources that are financing and maintaining the Boko Haram violence.
Speaking in a similar vein, CANAN Executive Director, Pastor Laolu Akande explained that based on academic research and studies conducted on the connection between terrorism and foreign direct investment, including one by the Asia Development Bank, the designation of Boko Haram as an FTO by the US will not necessarily influence investors from coming to Nigeria.
Quoting a UN report on the subject, Akande said terrorism was number 7 concern of foreign investors generally, adding that “investors will go for profit wherever they can find it, even if it is in the mouth of a lion.”
Also at the meeting, CANAN’s Representative in Washington DC, Lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe said the federal government has not considered compensation to Nigerians killed and attacked by terrorists, but there are active plans to help and support Islamic education.
According to him, after President Jonathan was elected president last year, wide violence in northern Nigeria killed Christians and 700 churches were burnt because the president won. But he lamented that no compensation has been paid to anyone since then.
At the end of the meeting, Prof. Adefuye expressed understanding and promised to report the views of CANAN back to the federal government, adding that “we are all committed to the same goal, except that we have different approaches.”