Jun 23 2012
From Madu Onuorah, Abuja and Laolu Akande, Dallas, United States
IN what seems like a tacit partial surrender of the nation’s sovereignty to the United States of America, the Nigerian Embassy in the US yesterday formally wrote to the US State Department to appeal that in the event of a US attack on targetted Boko Haram insurgents, on Nigerian soil, their innocent immediate neighbours should not be harmed.
The development comes as the Catholic Bishop Of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Hassan Kukah, reiterated his call for dialogue with the Boko Haram sect, even while urging improved intelligence gathering.
The US had, on Thursday, placed three Boko Haram leaders—- Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi—- on its terror list.
The letter from the Nigerian Embassy reads: “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria presents its compliments to the Unites States Department of State and has the honour to acknowledge the news of the implementation of Section 1B Executive Order 13224 by which the State Department declared Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi as specially Designated Global Terrorists. The designation according to the Order is designed to diminish the capacity of these men who are members of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks.
“While the facts contained in the Order are not in dispute, the Embassy hereby expresses its sadness that the Boko Haram episode has led to such a declaration.
“The Embassy however wishes to assure that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is firmly resolved in its determination to bring an end to the destructive activities of this group. We shall continue our efforts in this direction with the active cooperation and assistance of our friends and allies especially our host government.
“The Embassy however wishes to appeal that whatever action that is eventually taken against these individuals, their immediate neighbours who have felt most the impact, but are very much vehemently opposed to the activities of Boko Hararn, should not be affected.
“The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the United States Department of State, the assurances of its highest consideration.”
Military actions against terrorists in Somalia and Pakistan included drone attacks among other options under the US search and destroy objective against foreign terrorists.
Although the US State Department announcement on Thursday morning in Washington DC did not expressly say so, diplomats said yesterday that With the designation of the three Nigerians as terrorists, they now fall under the potential of direct attacks by the US government at anytime since they are now identified as enemies and threats to American’s national security interests.
However, Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Sokoto Yesterday, Kukah declared: “Look at what is happening everywhere in the world. How did the relationship between the IRA and the British end? 37million people died between 1914-1918 during the First World War. 27million people died during the Second World War, how did the war end? Conflicts and violence is always as a result of failure of dialogue and the result of arrogance because at the end of the day, whether you like it or not, Boko Haram will not last forever. The best you can do is to talk of limiting the damage and it is not correct for government to continue saying, “ who are you going to dialogue with”?
The cleric drew from what happens in marriage:
“You fight with your wife … she parks her things and goes away. You believe you are right, but you have an empty house without a wife. What are you going to do? Are you going to continue to stand on your rights? Even if you are too proud to talk, you will send your friend to help you talk to your wife.”
The Office of the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, also yesterday dismissed a report that Vice President is pushing for the Imposition of a state of emergency in his native Kaduna State as part of the strategy for his alleged 2015 Presidential ambition.
The report had also alleged that Vice President Sambo wants the emergency to punish Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, for his closeness to the former Governor of the State, Ahmed Mohammed Markafi.
Describing the report (not in The Guardian) as “malicious in content” and “an orchestrated attempt to disparage the hitherto good relationship” that existed between Vice President Sambo, Yakowa and Markafi, spokesman to the Vice President, Umar Sani said in a statement that “at no time was there any meeting involving Kaduna State in which the Vice President discussed the supposed emergency rule.”
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