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Adefuye Faults US Scholar on Boko Haram, Subsidy

04 Jan 2012

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Nigerian Ambassador to United States, Professor Adebowale Adefuye


By  Tokunbo Adedoja   
   
Nigerian Ambassador to United States, Professor Adebowale Adefuye, has faulted the warning by a US scholar, Prof. Jean Herskovits, that President Barack Obama’s administration should not support Nigeria's war on terror to avoid being viewed as backing a Christian president and turning Nigerian Muslims against US.
Adefuye also faulted Herskovits’ criticism on the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

Herskovits, who is a professor of history at the State University of New York, had in an article said: “The United States must not be drawn into a Nigerian 'war on terror' - rhetorical or real - that would make us appear biased toward a Christian president.  Getting involved in an escalating sectarian conflict that threatens the country’s unity could turn Nigerian Muslims against America without addressing any of the underlying problems that are fuelling instability and sectarian strife in Nigeria.”

In that same article, Herskovits had also noted that, “Mr. Jonathan’s recent actions have not helped matters. He told Nigerians last week, 'The issue of bombing is one of the burdens we must live with’. On New Year’s Eve, he declared a state of emergency in parts of four northern states, leading to increased military activity there. And on New Year’s Day, he removed a subsidy on petroleum products, more than doubling the price of fuel. In a country where 90 per cent of the population lives on $2 or less a day, anger is rising nationwide as the costs of transport and food increase dramatically.”

Reacting yesterday in a statement made available to THISDAY, the Nigerian envoy described Herskovits assertions as “grossly incorrect and patently unfair”.

Adefuye said: “Relations between the United States and Nigeria are at an all time high not because Washington is biased towards a Christian President from the South as Jean said, but because among other things, there is a convergence of and mutuality of interest in the strategic global objectives of the Obama and Goodluck Jonathan administrations.”

This convergence of interests, he said, included a world free from nuclear proliferation, a world free from terrorism and a world in which the tenets of democracy human rights, rule of law, good governance, accountability and responsible governance thrive.

He added that the Obama administration, having realised the strategic importance of Nigeria and its influence in Africa, views the country as a strategic ally through which these ideals would be spread and strengthened on the continent, hence the signing of the Nigeria-US Binational Commission Agreement.

Adefuye said it is in this context that Herskovits should “seek to understand the current level of cooperation between our two countries and not because Jonathan is a Christian Southerner”.

Noting that terrorism in one part of the world could easily spread to other areas, Adefuye said: “That Boko Haram constitutes a threat to all is evident not only by their bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja but also by the rumour, though largely unsubstantiated, that some of those involved in the bombing of Abuja UN offices were said to have received training in Somalia, Libya and Niger.

“The fact that some of Gadaffi's supporters were taking refuge in neighbouring Niger points to the potential danger which Boko Haram could pose and partly explains President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to close some borders when he declared  a state of emergency in four states where Boko Haram had been active.”

Adefuye also highlighted what he called the “glaring contradictions and conflicting conclusions” in Herskovits article, noting that while she said there was no proof that a well organised, ideologically coherent terrorist group called Boko Haram exists today, she also admitted that an original core group, still active, exists, though some criminal gangs had adopted its name to claim responsibility for attacks.

Adefuye however argued that, “the major recent attacks in Nigeria fit very perfectly into the avowed policy of Boko Haram that Western education is sinful. This is why they burn churches and schools.

Thieves and criminals have no interest in burning churches or mosques which are perceived to be critical of their actions. Muslims in Nigeria led by the acknowledged leader, the Sultan of Sokoto, and Chief Imams have condemned Boko Haram saying true Islam does not condone murder.  The whole country is united in the effort to put a stop to the activities of Boko Haram.”

On the issue of fuel subsidy removal, the Nigerian envoy said: “Prof. Herskovits joined those who rushed to judgement and did not even wait to consider the government's case for the removal of the subsidies.  She seemed not to have given thought to the fact that the country has paid 3.65 trillion naira in domestic fuel subsidies since 2006 with more than a third spent in 2011.

“The government spent 1.35 trillion naira (7 billion dollars) in the first nine months of last year. Removing the fuel subsidies will help save 7.5 billion dollars this year which is about 25 per cent of the government's spending plan. This money the government promised will be channelled into capital projects to develop infrastructure such as roads, railway and electricity.

“The step became necessary when it became clear that with around two thirds of the country's budget being devoted to recurrent expenditure, continuing with the present system and paying so much to subsidise fuel in a fast growing population, there would soon come a time when there would be no money for anything other than paying salaries and the country could grind to a halt. Removing fuel subsidies is therefore seen as a necessary painful decision.”

He said Jonathan's administration is committed to “broadening the base of the economy by lessening the dependence on oil, use the proceeds from oil to strengthen other sectors of the economy like agriculture, improve the quality of infrastructure, power, road and rail among others. Create jobs for our young population, and thereby reduce the scope of hunting grounds for recruitment into terrorist organisations like Boko Haram”.

Adefuye advised those that are pessimistic about Nigeria's future not to behave like “the proverbial foolish man who goes to sit at the bank of the river waiting to see the time when the crab would go to sleep”, adding, “they will be there for the rest of their lives. Nigeria will survive Boko Haram, the fuel subsidy crisis and fulfil its manifested destiny of the leader of the black world.”

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, US Scholar, Boko Haram

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  • Prof Herskovits is right on removal of fuel subsidy. This action is ill timed. Jonathan appears not to be properly advised. How can he bring untold hardship on the people that put him in power? Prices of foodstuff, transport will more than double inflicting hardship on Nigerians. Okonjo Iweala came to implement western agenda.

    From: Emeka

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Ambassador Adefuye has failed to respond intellectually to Professor Herscovits article. One would expect him to address a notion that there are undercurrent forces trying to use religion to cause problem as she cited an a example of a christian who wore a Muslim garb to burn a church to make it look as if a Muslim was burning a church.
    Ambassador Adefuye needs to get information from Nigeria as to the identification of these invisible Boko Haram who can not be identified by both Muslims and Christians who have stake in the governing of Nigeria. Professor Herskovits is only warning the American government not to easily get carried away by the simplistic analysis of people like the Ambassador who would want to bring American administration agaist Nigerian Muslim as terrorists. Christians like Ambassador Adefuye who should be careful not to provoke religious confrontation in Nigeria . Those who believe they could only get American assistance only through claim of attack from Islamic terrorism should be very careful. Professor Herskovits would be right in warning America not to complicate Nigerians by any action that would alienate her Muslim friends who are probably in the Majority in Nigeria.Ambassador Adefuye should advise the government of Nigeria to address the social economic issue in Nigeria. The removal of oil subsidy is a self inflicted blow by the Nigerian government and not caused by Professor Herskovits.Professor Adefuye was here in America when the Obama's administration insisted on extending the tax cut to middle class to give relief to the middle class.Removal of oil subsidy is not the only means by which Nigeria could generate $7 billion dollars.Instead of looking into how much could be saved from the waste and corruption in the administaration and the undeserved jumbo pay of political office holders and instead decided to remove the assistance that is of benefit to the masses , he has only complicated.the issue instead of finding time to face the security problem that is engulfing Nigeria.Ambassador Adefuye has taken his position in association with his bosses against the people of Nigeria that he is expected to represent here in America and History will not forget that.
    Hon. Bari Adedeji Salau-MPA-IG , Former Chairman of Somolu Local Government is a John Jay College of Criminal Justice trained Investigator and Political Oversight Specialist.

    From: Bari Adedeji Salau

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • THIS GUY IS FUNDING BOKO HARAM.....IT IS SO OBVIOUS..... HE SHOULD BE HELD AND PROBED, HE IS A SUSPECT.......

    From: Konsule

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The usless is supporting his boss because.Thief.

    From: aaa

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • why are the refineries not working!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????

    From: AnnoyedNigerian

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • INTELLIGENT RULES THE WORLD, STUPIDITY AND IGNORANT ARE BURDEN OF IT. IT IS SAD
    THAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU WILL SEE SOMETHING WHITE AND CALL IT BLACK.

    From: FEMI BABOKE

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Defending the paymaster and speaking from both sides of the mouth. Prof., How can you possibly justify the fuel subsidy removal and not give credence to the peoples request for sanitization of the oil and gas sector and provision of buffers such as infrastructure and refineries. The rent and leakages from this sub sector can be blocked by the president if he is keen on transforming the nation. Eleiminate corruption and profligate lifestyle. My dear Prof., how many aircrafts do they have in NNPC? How many Private Jets are attached to the office of the president? Do you guys have a transportation policy for the owners of the commonwealth you are stealing and abusing? My dear professor, you are out there in the US criticizing the lady that has leant her words in support of the downtrodden. For posterity what is your take on The abuse of office and massive statutory corruption thtats all pervasive in nigeria.
    I hope you would have the presence of mind and thought to justify the state of affairs in The present Nigeria to your loved ones

    From: Emeka Ofomata

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I understand Prof. Jean Herskovits's frustration... U.S is the biggest exporter of PMS to Nigeria. Deregulation in Nigeria will take that from them. Why didn't he write about Ghana and Niger Republic that did same. These guys are seriously selfish!

    From: Adefuye

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I have to agree with Prof. Herskovits. I am surprised that his simple wisdom is not comprehended by Mr. Adefuye. I will not say more.

    From: Demola

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • What else should we expect from chop make I chop cabal and stove of the US?

    From: rily

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It is very unforfunate what Nigeria has turned to. I am an indigine of Borno; born, raised and schooled in Lagos, Zaria and the UK. To date most of my friends are from the south-eastern part of Nigeria. I was working in Maiduguri the Borno state captal when this 'Boko Haram' issue erupted. I was very amazed how Prof. Jean Herskovits' seemed to know the facts on ground as they are - that piece is 100% correct!!! The real issue confronting Nigeria is not 'Boko Haram'. The Nigerian police are daily murdering and maiming innocent unarmed civilians in Maiduguri and its environs. In Nigeria, people are suffering, corruption is rife and we, the ordinary citizens are asking the government simple questions: If Obasanjo did not spend more than 300 Billion Naira on subsidy per annum, how could the Jonathan admnistration possibly spend up to 1.3 tTrillion Naira on subsidy in 9 months? This is fraud!!! What has the GEJ's administration done to fight corruption in Nigeria? What has the government done to improve the economy? What about the frightening rate of unemploment? Our roads are death traps. There is i nsecurity in the land. Politicians are opressing the masses with ill-gotten wealth. The masses in rural areas (where majority of the polpulation dwell) dont even have portable water to drink. People are dying of diseases and malnutrition. Only the rich can afford education because the public schools are long DEAD. Most Nigerians are frustrated, they simply dont trust the govenment anymore. My dear Ambassador, what has the Nigerian government done with our resources in the past other than squandering and looting it? I support the policy of deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in Nigeria 100% however, I am of the opinion that the manner the government threw it to the people is very insensitive and unacceptable. it completely show that the govenment is not in-tune with the stark concerns facing the masses... You politicians and elites!!!

    From: Attom

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Adefuye shut up ur stupid mouth, why are u fearing boko haram, stop talkin abt fuel subsidy talk abt boko haram in nigeria yoruba betraye ppl. yoruba spoil nigeria embassy in d warld. since boko haram is killin christian why can't u talk aganist them, u ve mouth 2 talk aganist janatha 2 reduce d fuel subsidy idiot. God we punish u ppl 1 by 1.

    From: stupid

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • amen

    From: fred

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The ambassador clearly didn't read the New York Times article he was responding to. It made a correct point that making the war part of an international effort will only bolster the ranks of the Boko Haram and open doors for more local and international support for the group. America can support Nigeria in this effort, but it should not under any circumstances take measures that will change the picture of the problem from a Nigerian issue to a Global one.

    From: Danhassan

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • prof adefuye should shut his mouth please. jonathan and his cohorts are throwing figures at us just to drive in their evil point. please they should go beyond numbers there are little foxes spoiling the vine o, starting from PPMC, NNPC, CBN, Politicians, Diezani and Kola Aloko. We can assist Jonathan in the investigation o, it will be a sanusi tsunami i guarantee u

    From: timotheus

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Well Done ...Hon. Bari Adedeji Salau-MPA-IG ,
    in my Opionion Mr Ade has said it all.atleast we still have debribelised Nigerians outthere.

    From: Salihu Abdullhu

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I think the analyses given by Bari Adedeji is most appropriate in this case

    From: Chigozie Canada

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Before any President can talk about fuel subsidy removal he has to give us 24 hours Power supply and a good transport system. Put these in place before we can discuss. Anything less of this is criminal, wicked and Barbarick

    From: Adebola

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • How could Mr President be so HEARTLESS to throw in PMS SUBSIDY REMOVAL immediately after his INSENSITIVE/CARELESS REMARKS to Nigerians following the MADALLA CHURCH BOMBINGS and THREAT FACED BY CHRISTIANS TO LEAVE THE NORTH?. The GOVERNMENT SIMPLY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE SECURITY SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY that has divided and obviously WEAKENED THE EMINENT MASS REVOLT (REVOLUTION) of the Nigerian people against the government.WHAT A SHAME

    From: garybee

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • prof adefuye is supporting jonathan because he is not affacted with the turnaround. their food, housing, energy, transport, health,etc, are paid for by poor tax payers money. he does not know the plight of impoverished farmer in the village, a figher man in the creeks, a jobless school leaver in the street, underpaid workers in the offices, a school drop- out in the village/turn, and unemployed masses, and the prevailing maket prices of goods in the open market. They are made fat from what would have benefited the public and turn around to starve the public with poverty induced policies on the pritex to bringing infrastructural development. The billions OBJ sunk into Power where is the result, the billion porpurtedly put in road, education, transport and other infrastructure. what about the billions sunk into Ajokuta steel industry, and our refinery. when will we stop telling ourselves lies. unfortunately it is the poor masses that a suffering of which i am among. our rulers are feeding from national coffers.

    From: George S. S.

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The only way that this subsidy removal makes sense to me is that it will create more money for Jonathan and his cohorts to steal. This is the most dangerous action by this incompetent and corrupt administration.

    From: Kingsley

    Posted: 2 years ago

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