THE United States of America (USA) has raised the alarm that the terrorist group that has become security headache for Nigeria, Boko Haram, is stupendously rich and has a large armoury to prosecute its onslaughts against Nigerians.
The disclosure was made in reaction to the major attack Boko Haram launched on neighbouring Niger Republic in which 109 fighters of the sect were mowed down by soldiers in the regional troops.
While condemning the fresh Boko Haram attacks in “strongest possible terms,” the US also pledged support for regional forces, a product of collaboration among countries troubled by insurgency in West Africa.
US State Department’s Spokeswoman, Marie Harf, was quoted at the weekend as saying; “this unchecked killing must stop. We’ll continue to provide support to governments in the region, including through intelligence sharing.
“We are increasing our support for these efforts.”
Agence France Presse (AFP), quoting US intelligence officials, said at the weekend that while Boko Haram “is flush with cash and weapons after a string of battlefield advances, the militants could face a tougher fight with Nigeria’s neighbours.
“The military intervention of neighbouring powers could potentially be a game changer in a positive way.”
Niger’s Minister of Defence, Mahamadou Karidjo, reported the killing of the 109 Islamists, as well as those of four soldiers and a civilian. He said 17 other troops’ members were wounded.
Boko Haram planned to attack entire nation —Jonathan
The original plan of the Boko Haram terror group was to attack the whole country and bring it down.
This disclosure was made by President Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend.
He spoke at the revival service of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement in Lagos.
The president was also at the monthly Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Friday night.
At the all-night programme, he promised that the insurgency in the North-East would soon become history.
He declined giving a time-line, while beseeching the body of Christ to keep praying for the peace of the nation.
He, however, said at the Lagos revival that the various attacks by Boko Haram in Abuja were to be a precursor to planned attacks nationwide with the intention of bringing down the nation.
Speaking at Ijesa headquarters of the church, he said, “the idea of the group was to start from the centre of the country and then move to bring the whole country down.”
He listed the United Nation’s building, Police Headquarters, Army barracks market and Nyanya Motor Park as some of the places the terrorist organisation attacked in the federal capital, to buttress his point.
He, however, said that the efforts of the Federal Government had limited the attacks to the North-East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, against the original plan of making the terrorists operations nationwide.
Jonathan said that insurgency and terrorism were global phenomena that were not peculiar to Nigeria, but added that with international collaboration, the Armed Forces would defeat the extremists.
According to him “We are working hard as a government and with your cooperation, we will rout terrorism.
“We will work harder to protect all Nigerians. We will improve the economy so that people will have jobs and these distractions about terror will end.”
He thanked members of the church and the Christian community in the country for their intercessory prayers and urged them not to relent.
“We believe we should not campaign in churches, but I am here to thank the General Overseer and members of the church for what you are doing.
“Your spiritual work has not only helped members of the church, has also but helped the country,” Jonathan said.
The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, led the congregation through intercessory prayers for God “to bless the nation with unity, peace and stability.”