Addressing the continuously deteriorating situation in northern Nigeria—where members of the radicalized Islamic sect, Boko Haram, continue to brutalize and murder Christians, arson and loot churches, and destroy Christian businesses—President Obama blamed the escalating violence not on extreme Islamist ideology and its radicalized culture of hate, but on bad governance and failed leadership.
Many criticized Secretary of State, John Kerry, for having made similar comments earlier this year, citing the need for positive U.S. reinforcement of Nigeria’s efforts to eradicate Boko Haram in protection of the nation’s targeted citizens—primarily Christians in northern Nigeria.
Tensions continue to rise as U.S. diplomatic rhetoric, which both highlights alleged human rights abuses committed by the Nigerian Army and accuses the Nigerian state of failing to control the situation, while offering no solutions nor taking an form of action to aid Nigeria’s efforts nor officially designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
7/1/2013 Nigeria (Nigerian Tribune) — President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has tactically lent his support to the school of thought alluding the growing terrorism in Nigeria to poverty, blaming the upsurge of terrorist groups on the fact that “countries are not delivering for their people and there are sources of conflict and underlining frustrations that have not been adequately dealt with”.
He also took a stand against Nigeria’s employment of military option to tackle Boko Haram when he ruled out military solutions in tackling terrorism, urging governments “to give people opportunity, education and resolve conflicts through regular democratic processes,” noting that these would make it less likely for terrorism to take root.
Obama, who was in South Africa as part of his week-long visit to Africa, made the positions known yesterday, while fielding questions from journalists and youths during a Town Hall Meeting with youths from African countries.
Speaking on the importance of youths, Obama noted that “in terms of human capital and young people, I think the greatest investment any country can make, not just an African country, is educating its youth and providing them with the skill to compete in a highly technological, advanced world economy”.
He further said “countries that do not do that well will not succeed,” noting that countries with limited skill will have “problems” in drawing international businesses.
“This is a problem in the United State and not just a problem in Africa,” he added.
He said the U.S. is willing to collaborate with Nigeria to train teachers and incorporate technology in the education system.
“Across board we are having a rethink in education and work force training. And one of the things we want to do is to partner with a country like Nigeria and identify ways that we can provide direct value added, whether it is in helping to train teachers or helping to incorporate technology into the education process”