By Paul Ohia
An anti-terror coalition of Nigerians at home and in diaspora, Nigerians Unite Against Boko Haram (NUABH) has launched a campaign to prevail on the United States government to list the Boko Haram group as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
The campaign has so far gathered signatures from more than 70 Nigerian professionals, students, and business people at home and diaspora communities from over 16 different countries.
Also in a statement, NUABH condemned the wanton destruction of lives and property in Nigeria by the Islamic fundamentalists.
NUABH which has more than 4,500 members online drawn from over 50 countries across the world believes the activities of Boko Haram pose serious threat to the unity of Nigeria and it’s developmental aspirations in addition to seriously painting the nation very bad light abroad.
“For Nigerians in many countries across the world, the most regularly news you get about Nigeria in the last two to three years has been of killings and suicide bombings. We as Nigerians reject this identity that Boko Haram has fostered on us as a people,” stated Funmi Macaulay, a New York-based executive member of the group.
“It doesn’t augur well for our development that Nigeria should continue to waste its people when some of the nations we aspire to be like will go to war to defend one of their own,” Macaulay further stated.
Speaking on why the group was established, another member of the group Chucks Inyama, said “Nigeria’s most important asset is not oil but its people. He said that it is the American people that made the United States great not its natural resources.
“Japan is the world’s third largest economy not on the basis of natural resources but on the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of its people; same goes for China which has gone from a very poor country in the 70’s to the world’s second largest economy after the US. We must treasure every human life, that’s what development is all about and that’s why we are against the activities of the Boko Haram group,” Inyama said.
Members of NUABH are connected online via the social media and they hold regular discussions on the worrying trend that terrorism has assumed in Nigeria in the last few years.
“We believe that what the fundamentalists seek to destroy are not just buildings. They seek to destroy the freedom of expression in Nigeria. They seek to bring down law and order, pluralism, the right of Nigerians to elect their own leaders, women’s rights and lots more. This is a mission every right-thinking Nigerian should resist for the good of the nation. I believe they are tyrants and tyrants have no place in modern society,” said Evelyn Tagbo, also a member of group.