By Our Correspondent
Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has come under fire over his claim that the country does not need the help of the United Nations or the African Union (AU) to take on Boko Haram insurgency.
Ahead of the AU summit which kicked off on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian capital, a UN envoy for the Sahel region, Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, told correspondents that Nigeria must accept it cannot defeat Boko Haram fighters alone and work with regional armies in a new multinational force to bring the insurgency to an immediate end.
The envoy said that Boko haram posed a danger to the entire African continent, adding that it was time for action.
“Nigeria cannot handle the problem alone. Boko haram is not only confined to Nigeria. We see a flood of refugees to Niger, Cameroon, and even Chad.
She warned that there could be the possibility of the group setting up a camp in Mali.
Sambo Dasuki had, in a BBC programme, dismissed the possibility of Nigeria asking for international intervention in tackling the menace of Boko haram which has wreaked untold havoc on the North East Nigeria and is spreading to Cameroon, Chad and Mali.
The UN envoy’s reaction signaled the attention of the Africa continent to the menace and a possible implementation of a proposed 3000-strong intervention force, made up of soldiers from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon.
Nigeria, analysts say, could be pressured to accept the intervention force as AU Chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said that she was “deeply horrified” at the rise of Boko Haram which, she said, was a threat to the entire continent.
Also a top US military commander, David Rodriguez, said that a huge international effort was needed to turn the tide against Boko Haram, especially in military intelligence gathering.
He said that the Nigerian military was not tackling the situation effectively, adding, “I hope that they’ll let us help more and more”.