It would be recalled that after repeated calls especially from Christians in Nigeria and those in the Diaspora, the US Department of State, Office of the Spokesperson on Wednesday took the decision under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
It also classified Boko Haram and Ansaru as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.
With this classification, it has become a crime under US laws to provide material support to the group just as members of the group, wherever they are, will now be targets of air strikes from the US military among other decisive actions.
Welcoming the decision on Friday night, spokesperson of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ode in a statement, recalled that even before the latest move by the US, the Federal Government had proscribed the two organizations and declared a State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states considered strongholds of the terrorist sects.
He said, “the designation is, in the spirit of these initiatives by Nigeria, a welcome development, as it will strengthen cooperation between Nigeria and the United States in the fight against international terror; enhance the capacity and legal basis for concerted actions against both groups; and enable the two countries work more closely towards reducing the capability and capacity of the groups to unleash terror.
“The Federal Government wishes to assure the Nigerian public of its unwavering resolve to root out terror, in all its ramifications, from Nigeria, in a comprehensive manner that protects civilians, meets political and economic needs, and fully respects human rights.
“It also wishes to assure the public that the designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru by the US Government as FTOs would not lead to any negative repercussions for Nigeria and Nigerians. It is imperative to note that terrorism and terrorist activities do not recognise national boundaries. It is from this perspective that Nigeria will welcome more support and assistance from the international community along the lines of the US position on these groups”.