Boko Haram poses threat to sub-region

A research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso has advised the Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, to consider the threat by militant group Boko Haram as a sub-regional matter in order to find a solution to the problem.

He said tackling and defeating the militant group, would be a difficult task and, therefore, making their threat a continental issue would allow concerted efforts across Africa in dealing with the group.

“He must turn the Boko Haram issue into a sub-regional issue at the ECOWAS level, and a continental issue at the AU level so that it is addressed once and for all. Because if they (Boko Haram) are not festering well in Nigeria, they can operate from any other country easily without harming the place,” he told The Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra yesterday.

Dr. Antwi-Danso, said the Nigerian leader, due for investiture today, would be faced with daunting challenges in his administration, the major one being the Boko Haram threat.

He said making Boko Haram look like a crimeinal and not a political group, would be the only way to deal with them internally before seeking the assistance from his colleagues on the continent.

With the mindset that the militant group could advance their activities under a Muslim leader, Dr. Danso said the ex military leader known for his “no nonsense” tendencies, must bring on board all Nigerians to deal with the threat “but he must play it safe because a lot of the Muslim communities support Boko Haram in their hearts.”

He said if Major Buhari, 73, failed to treat Boko Haram and its activities as criminal, the defunct rebel group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) suspected to be in support of his predecessor, could reorganise and pose a challenge to his administration.

He, however called for prosecution of persons responsible for the Nigerian predicament to serve as a deterrent to others from engaging in same.

The outgoing President, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a couple of days ago, expressed fear that he and his appointees were likely to be persecuted when the new administration assumes office.

But Dr Antwi-Danso said “whoever has created the condition that we have in Nigeria today, whoever has been able to make sure corruption festered in Nigeria, must be tried but let the government not do it in a parochial way for it to look like persecution.”

Boko Haram, which started its insurgency in 2009, has killed hundreds of Nigerians mostly from the northern sector of that country, in an attempt to have an Islamic caliphate in that part of the country.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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