The designation and labeling of Boko Haram and Ansaru terror groups which was announced today in twin statements from the White House and State Department are a gratifying response to the demands of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans.
On behalf of CANAN, Dr. James Fadele, the association's President commends the US government for rising up eventually "to call a spade a spade."
According to him, "since CANAN was formed in September last year, our major request to the American government is for the designation of these terror groups, especially Boko Haram, in the belief that at the very least such a designation would send a clear message to all concerned that the US government will not be handling these matters with kid gloves.
We are delighted today that this has happened even if it took over a year of active advocacy."
It is also our hope that with this significant turn by the US government today, a greater American involvement in the fight against these terror groups would ensue, because there is still a lot more work to be done.
We want to specifically commend the new Assistant Secretary of State for Africa in the State Dept., the Honorable Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield and also White House Presidential Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Ms. Lisa Monaco for their diligence and forthrightness.
We note that since both said officials took office, a certain change in perspective of the US government over the Boko Haram issue became noticeable.
Ms. Thomas-Greenfield in one of her early press conferences immediately made it clear that the US considers Boko Haram a terror group, while Ms. Monaco had been supportive of the call for Boko Haram designation since she served at the Justice Department, even at a time the previous leadership of State Dept. balked at the idea of designation of this despicable terror group.
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