Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed Over Press TV: 'Nigeria Needs Better Coordination to Remove Terror': Analyst
Thu May 19, 2016 7:52AM

Watch this interview by clicking on the website below:

Press TV has interviewed Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, to discuss the security situation in Nigeria after one of the missing Chibok schoolgirls, kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists over two years ago, was found alive.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Abuja has been criticized for not going after these schoolgirls more aggressively, your thoughts.

Azikiwe: Well I think this is a good thing that they have discovered one of these school children, hopefully this will lead to evidence and a trail to reclaim the rest. Some of them did escape, it was reported several months after they were abducted in 2014, but they have not been able to retrieve the majority of these young women who are high school students in the Chibok area. They are not only being released but at the same time there are thousands upon thousands of other people who are still missing in Nigeria as a result of this war.

Press TV: Why do you think the Nigerian military went into Zaria last December, attacking and massacring hundreds of peaceful Muslims from the Islamic Movement of Nigeria while Boko Haram has been stepping up its attacks and all the carnage on village after village in the northeast?

Azikiwe: I think it has a lot to do with the influence of Saudi Arabia. They have been pressurized in numerous African states to break relations with Iran and other Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria which has close ties with Tehran.

I think this has underlined a lot of these attacks. These attacks were totally unjustified. They were claiming that these Muslims were blocking traffic. That is not a justifiable reason to massacre hundreds of people and to capture the leader of the organization. They could issue citations; they can negotiate with the leadership. I think there is a political motivation to these attacks in Zaria.

Press TV: Goodluck Jonathan, when he was president, said that Boko Haram had successfully infiltrated the Nigerian government. Now if this is true, how will this impact the country's battle against this Takfiri movement?

Azikiwe: I think it has made it more difficult. Back in 2009 when the conflict first started, some leading figures in Boko Haram said that they did have close ties with people in the Nigerian government as well as the military. This has been denied over the years, so we will have to see if these individuals can be uncovered.

They have cleared out many areas in the northeast of Nigeria - they were under the control of Boko Haram. However, they still have the capacity to engage in asymmetric attacks, bombings, kidnappings and other forms of terror which the Nigerian government along with Cameroon, Niger and Chad have to coordinate better to eliminate.

Press TV: So in your point of view what is the biggest obstacle right now that is impeding a good offensive against Boko Haram and actually conquering this group?

Azikiwe: Well they have to have better weapons, a better military coordination, a better intelligence. The United States is very active right now in West Africa but consistently they have refused to sell the necessary arms, to share the necessary intelligence with the Federal Republic of Nigeria which raises a lot of questions in regard to the role of the US in West Africa.  

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