United States has expressed concern over what it described as lack of adequate government response to the expansion of terrorists activities in Nigeria.
In a special press briefing via teleconference, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Samuel D. Brownback said terrorism continues to happen and grow, in some places unabated, noting that the Federal Government’s response has been minimal to not happening at all. Brown made the assertion after he was asked to comment on President Muhamadu Buhari’s response to the fight against insurgency in Nigeria.
His words: “… A major concern for us is the lack of adequate government response in Nigeria. You’ve got expanded terrorist activities, you’ve got a lot of it associated around religious affiliations, and the government’s response has been minimal to not happening at all. A number of cases . . . there have not been criminal cases brought forward by the government. The terrorism continues to happen and grow, in some places unabated.”
Brown said the US do not want Nigeria to to devolve into a very difficult, lawless terrain in places.
“And the government really needs to act. He was however quick to say the U.S. government was ready to assist Nigeria to eradicate insurgency.
“We stand ready to work with them. I have traveled there, spent a week. Key officials from State Department have been there and have been talking with the government and getting an inadequate response.”
Brown also gave reason why Nigeria was added to religious freedom blacklist even as the Federal Government described the action as “a case of honest disagreement between the two nations on the causes of violence in Nigeria.”
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had said “Nigeria does not engage in religious freedom violation, neither does it have a policy of religious persecution,” adding that “victims of insecurity and terrorism in the country are adherents of Christianity, Islam and other religions.”
But in what appears to be a rebuff of Mohammed’s claims, Brown said the U.S. government added Nigeria because of tolerating egregious acts taking place in that nation.
Highlighting the degree of violation of religious freedom in Nigeria, the ambassador said not only the US but the world has great concern about what’s taking place in Nigeria at this time.
He warned that a number of terrorist groups were organising and pushing into the country.
“We’re seeing a lot of religious-tinged violence taking place in that country and indeed in West Africa. It’s an area of growing concern about what’s happening, in particular the tension that’s taking place there between religious groups. And it’s often the religious affiliation is used to try to recruit and inspire violent acts.”