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Why Boko Haram should not be labeled terrorists

Even with pressure on the United States Government to brand Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation, the Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, has explained why the Nigerian government is opposed to that move.

In an interview he listed five reasons why the Nigerian Government does not want US to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).

He said, “To declare Boko Haram as an FTO [Foreign Terrorist Organisation] will mean that Nigeria is not able to deal with Boko Haram and that is not right. After all, we have dealt with a more focused, more dangerous, better organised protest movements like the Niger Delta militants.

“And to designate Boko Haram as a FTO would mean that it will give such psychological boost to Boko Haram among other terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, which can be tempted to embrace them and support them.

“Three, to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation would discourage investors from coming to Nigeria because nobody wants to go to an area where a terrorists resides.

“Four, even from the point of view of the US, they say it constitutes a threat to their interests but it is not. So if you did not declare Niger Delta [militant groups] an FTO, why would you declare Boko Haram an FTO? It doesn’t stand logic or reason.”

He said that labeling Boko Haram a terrorist organisation would expose Nigerians travelling to the US to “horrendous search at US entry points and we don’t want that.”

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