PoliticsNews & Analysis‘Powerful Nigerians behind terrorist group’


Posted on Monday, 29 August 2011 12:24

‘Powerful Nigerians behind terrorist group’

By Konye Obaji Ori

A Nigerian political group says Friday’s bomb attack at the United Nations headquaters in Abuja by the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram was politically motivated to destabilise President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

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At least 19 people died in the explosion blamed on a suicide bomber who managed to make his way through two gates at the heavily guarded compound.

The South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA) said Boko Haram was being used by some powerful Nigerians who want to see the demise of Jonathan’s government.

“Boko Haram cannot be pursuing a religious agenda, for, it should be obvious to its ideologues that exploding bombs in Abuja will do very little to advance the cause of its fanatical Islamic ideology,” SSAPA said in a statement.

“On the contrary, we are convinced that the group’s agenda, which clearly is that of its urbane sponsors, is to make the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan unworkable.”

Jonathan himself has described Boko Haram as a "local problem" that has to be dealt with.

"Boko Haram is a local group linked up with terrorist activities and as a government, we are working on it and we will bring it under control,” he told journalists on Saturday during a tour of the damaged building.

“Terrorist attacks on any individual or part of the world is a terrorist attack on the rest of the world."

Boko Haram have attacked government establishments and killed innocent civilians but Friday’s attacks reminded the world of the threat it poses to peace in Nigeria.

Despite Boko Haram’s use of suicide bombers, public opposition of Western-style education, government and culture, the SSPA does not consider the extreme group an ideological militia.

“We are convinced that the name has become a metaphor for a more sophisticated struggle for political power,” the group said.

“We dare say that it is a tool in the hands of those who threatened to make this country ungovernable and those who lectured us on the inevitability of violent change in the heat of the struggle for the Jonathan presidency.”

The federal government has tried to negotiate with Boko Haram as well military force but experts say neither approaches have been effective.

Reports claim that agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have begun investigations into the latest bombing after the Nigerian government requested for assistance.

"We will work with the UN and other world leaders to ensure that terrorism is brought under control," Jonathan said.

Analysts believe the re-alignment of the Nigerian security system will be the only solution to the threat posed Boko Haram.

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