The members of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) on Thursday embarked on a rally in U.S. to demand that the Boko Haram group in the country be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
The members, who were led by the Chairman of the association, Pastor James Fadele, and its Executive Director, Mr Laolu Akande embarked on the rally outside the White House in Washington.
The group wondered why the U.S. State Department had refused to pronounce the entire Boko Haram as a terrorist group instead of referring only to its leader.
Earlier at a news conference held at the National Press Club, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, also faulted the U.S. government over its delay to classify the group as terrorist body.
Oritsejafor added that in addition to non-recognition of the plight of Nigerians, the U.S. has not offered humanitarian assistance to victims of Boko Haram.
“America’s ambivalence over the terrorist challenges in Nigeria is a stunning betrayal. After 911, Nigeria was amongst nations that cooperated with global efforts on tracing terrorist financing to the point that a designated foreign financier was uncovered running a cereal factory in Northern Nigeria.
“FTO designation will kick off the tracking of terror-financing and arms shipments in Nigeria and elsewhere.
“It is now one year since I testified before the U.S. Congress and still the U.S. has not designated Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organisation even though it has killed citizens of over a dozen of countries and attacked American citizens too.
“Every week I get a text message that a church has been burnt or that a Pastor has just been murdered or that Christians were randomly rounded up on a roadside and summarily executed.
“Last week at my inauguration, one seat was conspicuously empty that of Rev Faye Musa Pama, CAN secretary in the Borno State Chapter.
“He was assassinated in his home in the presence of his kids. His kids pleaded for his life but still he was killed,’’ the CAN leader said.
Oritsejafor,however, pleaded with rich churches in the country to come to the aid of victims of Boko Haram insurgency as well as in supporting CAN financially.
Contributing, Akande called on the U.S. State Department to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation to give the issue the international attention it deserves. (NAN)