UPDATE ON THE POSITION OF THE EMBASSY OF IGERIA ON THE CURRENT SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA
The Embassy of Nigeria has noted with keen interest various and divergent reactions by individuals, human rights activists/organizations and the general public to the current security challenges in Nigeria. The Embassy wishes to appreciate the interest shown by Germans, Nigerian citizens resident in Germany and friends of Nigeria, which is an indication of love for the corporate existence of Nigeria as a united and indivisible entity.
2. However, the Embassy wishes to disabuse the minds of the general public of the notion that the security challenges facing Nigeria, particularly the scourge of terrorist attacks by the notorious Boko Haram are directed by one ethnic or religious group against another. It should be noted that terrorism and terrorist act, which until 2009 was alien to Nigeria, is a global phenomenon and has posed grave threat to world’s peace and security. Governments all over the world are collaborating with one another with a view to combating the scourge. It is pertinent to indicate that terrorist acts know no religious and ethnic delineation; they affect Christians, Muslims and even Atheists. In the case of Nigeria, terrorist acts by Boko Haram have affected both the Christians and Muslims alike and have not only been roundly condemned but also denounced by the adherents of both religions. The perpetrators are mindless and criminal individuals who hide under the cover of religion.
3. The Federal Government of Nigeria, just like any other government in the world, knows that its primary duty is to guarantee security of lives and property of all the people living in the country. Consequently, it has taken several measures to combat the incidents of terrorism and other sectarian attacks in the country. These measures include, but not limited to, enthronement of good governance, eradication of poverty, provision of job opportunities, fight against corruption, strengthening and equipping of all security agencies, as well as collaboration and liaison with other friendly countries, such as the Federal Republic of Germany. It would be recalled that Defence and Security took the lion share of the 2012 Federal Budget, which shows the high priority the Government attaches to the maintenance of law and order in the country.
4. The Federal Government has made several efforts to dialogue with the group and has also involved all the stake-holders in that direction. However, the inability of the government to identify the group’s leadership and its motives has virtually stalled the efforts, as it could not dialogue with faceless group. Nonetheless, the window of dialogue is still kept open and the government is still exploring the possibility.
5. Meanwhile, the attack by the Boko Haram has to be understood correctly. It is not Muslims in Nigeria fighting Christians in Nigeria or vice-versa. Their attacks on the Churches are because they identify the Church with western culture and as their name implies, “against western culture and values”, they attack Churches for this reason and also because it provokes publicity and they get the desired impact and effect. The Boko Haram is a terrorist group, a fundamentalist group that has lost orientation that is inflicting terrible pains and destruction on innocent Muslims, Christians and Atheists alike.
6. Terrorism poses grave danger to the international community. The Boko Haram alleged links with al-Qaeda affiliates – al Qaeda in the Maghreb and the Somalia-based al-Shabaab have given international dimension to the group and this calls for international collaboration and efforts, including intelligence sharing and capacity building of the security forces with a view to combating the terrorist menace. It is pertinent to add that the Nigerian Government is poised to create conducive environment for everybody to live and conduct his or her businesses without let or hindrance. It is also committed to creating an atmosphere where foreign direct investment would thrive.
7. The Embassy wishes to assure all and sundry that the Federal government under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan means well for the country and is desirous to make a difference. In view of the foregoing, the Embassy wishes to appeal to the general public, including the Nigerian citizens and friends of Nigeria in Germany to kindly show understanding and support the current government’s efforts to deliver on its promises as contained in the transformation agenda. The Embassy also assures that the government is determined, sincere and will not disappoint.
8. Meanwhile, the Embassy wishes to add that Nigeria will come out of all these myriads of challenges stronger and more united and will continue to count on the support and cooperation of the international community.
Embassy of Nigeria,
13th August, 2012.