The killing of the seven foreign hostages by Ansaru in Bauchi State over the weekend has made the international community to mount fresh pressure on the Federal Government to accept the classification of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO.
Nigeria has shunned pleas by Western countries led by United States of America, to accept the classification of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, FTO.
The United States has over the years maintained that Boko Haram and its affiliates are terrorist organizations which must be marked down for special attention but the Federal Government has opposed such move on grounds that it will endanger the lives of other Nigerians who would be marked down for special treatment.
According to diplomatic sources, the Federal Government’s resistance to the classification of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization is ridiculous, especially considering the fact that there was no doubt about a link between the group and al-Qaeda, and its mode of operations not different from other terrorist groups in the Middle East and Asia.
“Now the abduction and killing of foreigners have upped the ante. What will be your government’s position for arguing that Boko Haram should not be classified as FTO? What is clear is that foreigners have become the target of this terror politics in Nigeria.
“What the terrorist groups are trying to do is to tell the world that if they are displaced in Mali, they can safely operate in Nigeria, knowing that the Federal Government is not united in the war against terrorism. There are enemies within the government, which is making it difficult for foreign countries to trust Nigeria with intelligence,” he said.
An expert in international relations told this correspondent that what took place in Bauchi has collapsed the physical boundary between Nigeria and Mali. He said the terrorists are setting up Nigeria for a possible clash with members of the UN Security Council.
“Strategically, the capture of French nationals in Cameroon and transporting them to Nigeria has turned Nigeria into another Northern Mali as the Al-Qaeda Jihadists that planned the action had put the country in a position as a safe haven for the Jihadists and could be attacked in the same way as it has done in Northern Mali. This is a situation that will compromise Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the expert said.
Ansaru had released videos on Youtube showing images of some of the corpses of the seven hostages to back up their claims that the hostages have been killed.
The hostages, one each from Italy, Britain and Greece and four from Lebanon, were working for a Lebanese firm, Setraco.