Monday, December 10, 2012

Fresh Pressure On Obama, Clinton Over Boko Haram

FRESH pressure is mounting on the US President Barack Obama and the outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate Nigeria’s Islamist group, Boko Haram, a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) before the end of Obama’s first term next month.

At the White House, an ambitious effort has been launched by a team of several US groups led by Jubilee Campaign and supported by the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) to mobilise thousands of Americans to sign a petition addressed to President Obama, demanding the designation.

According to the petition, already posted on the White House website, the organisations and the petitioners observed that despite all the uncontested evidence on the activities of Boko Haram, “the US has refused to designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.”

The petition, which has to get 25,000 signatures by December 29, to have the US President respond to it, stated that in the last three years, Boko Haram has killed an estimated 3,000 Nigerians, adding, “they have directly targeted helpless Christians, and any Muslims who dare to disagree with their genocidal ambitions.”

CANAN in a statement said it was mobilising the over 1,000 US-based Nigerian churches to get their members to endorse the petition within the time limit, so as to get a response from the White House.

Opening up the White House website to Americans to petition the US government is one of the initiatives of President Obama to bring the US government closer to the American people. But his administration has been reluctant to go after Boko Haram as a group.

Bauchi State To Support Religious Organisations Propagating Peace

Gov Isa Yuguda said on Monday in Bauchi that government would continue to support all religious organisations propagating peace in the state.

Addressing the faithful embarking on a pilgrimage to Israel, the governor, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, commended the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state for preaching peace.

He reminded the intending pilgrims that Jesus Christ teaches love, sacrifice and service to mankind and urged them to associate themselves with the virtues and also imbibe the teachings.

``I would seize this opportunity to commend all Christians and particularly the leadership of CAN in the state for propagating the gospel of peace, tolerance, love and understanding”, he said.

The governor said adequate arrangements had been made for the pilgrims' accommodation, feeding and transport in Israel.

Yuguda noted that it was gratifying to note that there was no reported case of drug or currency trafficking involving pilgrims from the state in the past pilgrimages.

He asked all the pilgrims to pray for peace, harmony and stability in the country.

Earlier, the Chairman, Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Shuaibu Byal, said the state government had provided the enabling environment for effective and efficient pilgrims' journey.

Byal said that the board had gone round local government areas in the state for advocacy, mobilisation and sensitisation on the need for self-sponsorship.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that out of the 426 intending pilgrims, only eight are sponsoring themselves.

The first group from the state is expected to depart for Israeli on Wednesday.(NAN)



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