Boko Haram: Nigeria should do more before seeking foreign help – Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan

A former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, has said that Nigeria needs to brace up and tackle the extremist group, Boko Haram, before seeking foreign intervention.

Mr. Annan said international help could only come after, but that it is the primary responsibility for Nigeria and the West African region to defeat Boko Haram.

The former UN secretary general spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at a media briefing in Abuja.

Condemning the latest attack in Baga where over 2, 000 people were reported killed, Mr. Annan said it is important that the country and the West African region take responsibility towards ending the consistent insurgent attacks and depend less on the international community.

“When the last incident occurred, although we are getting different figures, some have said its 2, 000, others said its crossing a hundred, regardless of the numbers it was a brutal act to commit.

“What is important is that we ourselves should organize and try and contain Boko Haram, the international community can only assist. It can come but the responsibility is ours,” he said.

Mr. Annan said conducting a free and fair election in Nigeria has a great effect of ensuring peace and security in the West African region.

“The Nigerian election is clearly important because of the role you play in the region; if Nigeria prospers, the region will also do, if you get it wrong, the region will also pay the price,” Mr. Annan said.

Concerning inciting speeches during electoral campaigns, Mr. Annan said it is important for parties and their various leaders to take the lead concerning the kind of statements they and their followers make.

He said statements that may lead to violence before, during and after the elections must be avoided, stressing the need for an issue-based campaign by politicians.

He also said every attempt must be made to allow citizens to exercise their rights to vote during the upcoming 2015 election saying Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Attahiru Jega has informed him that he is hopeful that the Internally Displaced Persons exercise their civic rights.

He advised Nigerian youth to endeavour to vote.

“I’ll advise those frustrated to think it through and exercise their right. Resigning and standing back and not voting does not solve the problem,” he said.

Mr. Annan also clamoured for the expansion of civic education in schools in the region through school teachers, this he said could involve parties and party leaders, school teachers.

He visited Nigeria to address a conference organized by a coalition of Nigerian civil society organization on elections issues.

Mr. Annan chairs the Kofi Annan Foundation which focuses its work on Peace Security, sustainable development, human rights and to the rule of law with the aim of helping to create a fairer, more secure world. The foundation also promotes impartial and transparent electoral processes through its Electoral Integrity Initiative.


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  • tundemash

    Meaning: Dumbo should drop the bottle and blame game and do the job he was voted in to do!!!! Shikena!

    • tyson

      @ wahala–was obj also a drunk–that was why he could not provide the nation with constant light for 8yrs the he ruled u abi-?-that was why he could not fix the lagos ibadan road——-that is why he left the onitsha bridge—undone—until Jonathan came to their aid–what about the east-west road–which the house under tambuwal refused to approve money for–the president had to depend on Sure P funds to fix d east west road–just keep this crap to yr regional soul –Nigerians are seeing through yr regional lies–

      • tundemash

        Deri …. only a D@ft like you separates OBJ and GEJ from the mess Nigeria is. They both belong to same criminal gang PDP that will be flushed down the bin n FeBuhari 14th. Happy now creek monkey ?

        You very well @wahala is different from me but a cl0wn usually wants to muddle the water.

        I am surprised you didn’t accuse Kofi Annan of regional lies in this your rant

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          He is also on Sapele Water like Jonothing.

          He was also of the opinion I was also Wahala!

          Guess somebody seized his feeding bottle and he has no access to his dummy!!

          • Onike24

            Bros, ki ni Sapale water?

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Lol, Sis

            Na Ogogoro!

          • Onike24

            Ah, thanks, now I know.

          • tundemash

            @wahala must have been a nightmare to them so they see him everywhere: hallucination

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            lol

            Very true.

  • umolu

    It doesn’t appear Nigeria has leaders after all; they only have a bunch of crooks in government, all of them.

  • tyson

    Kofi sadly for us in Nigeria–unlike Ghana, our armed forces have tribal and religious marks on their forehead–

  • Yusuf

    Kofi is talking as he doesnt know the man on the wheel

    • sanky

      Koffi is 100% right. truth is, we are talking to a regime that sees the BH problem as “na their problem wetin concern me?”

  • olawale

    It no longer new that the entire PDP are behind the bokoharam killing..in other to reduce the population of the north.The outgoing president of Nigeria has lied again: the burukutu motivated aso rock idiotic president just announced that he visited Borno for the first time without video clips. Only his media rat came out to show mr president’s patriotic indignity.

    Sai buhari: insecurity, economic woes and corruption will soon become anomalies in Nigeria.

  • Truthometer

    Kofi, you need to understand Nigeria more. Dumbo and his big bellied generals are busy sharing the money meant to fight the insurgency, while the soldiers are dying on the battlefield, every minute. There is no more they can do, as long as their mission is to steal, but not to win the war against the terrorists. I insist that Nigeria military is capable of bringing and delivering justice to Shekau and his fellow bandits, without any country’s assistance. Defeating the insurgency means no more money to loot, in the name of fighting war on terror. That is the situation we find ourselves in Nigeria. But, change is coming to Nigeria, and all these mess will be cleaned.

    • Chris1408

      Well said, more terrorism, more defense budget, more money to loot. What happened to the $1B that was giving to augment their weapons. Gone bye bye.

      • Mr. Abdin

        Well said my friend.

      • Dodon Doya

        #BringBackOur$1billion be that

  • Jonathan had abandoned Northeast Nigeria to his dream, Boko Haram. General Buhari is the only hope to retrieve Northeast back from Boko. Fe Buhari, Love Buhari, Vote Buhari President 2015.

  • Lawrence Efana

    Nnenna Ibeh thank for this excellent article. You did well as early as Jan. 16 – 2015, to write and make the man Africa is very proud of: the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan – his words of advice to Nigeria and post Jonathan rule known to all. He played a key role and worked hard to reconcile Nigerian people, leaders and politics of the country. The election results spoke of him and those positive, but truly impartial contributions and advice. It is not clear now – that is after the elections how Nigerians would have to account for the wisdom of his advice and professionalism. Elections are over for now, but sad to note that confusions highly dysfunctional to progress are still where they were if not growing! Much of the professional and wise advice seem to have been wasted. Some might say it is too early to conclude thus. Hope that is correct if you think that it is yet judged true or false. All who read Ibeh’s article would agree that you do not need to rehearse its rich contents here. They true – so the consequence(s) of current chaos would seem to speak for. The awakening is not taking place, solidarity is not understood and acted on, informed consensus is getting further and further away to reach and embrace. Efforts are concentrated on making the new administration “lame…”. They who do so believe others are losing whereas it is their own country and people who are losing….all of them! This “world” diplomat’s advice to Nigeria as a nation to solve Boko-Haram dilemma is also in the interest West Africa as a region. These were made clear in January, 2015. We are now in March, 2016. What a gap; what a slow understanding and learning; and what a blow to strategic appreciation of its challenges for the time people live in to see what they see – if they see right and constructively? The Secretary General did not hide the truth about the need for managing information well, desisting from being careless with utterances, etc. As it might seem all that have gone into deaf ears. People are blind-folded, the problems are mounting, the healing and constructiveness as forces released by wisdom are all diminishing, some might argue in relative senses. If ever so, the question has to be in relation to what? The burden of the Nigerian online media is enormous. Here, I must quickly recall the recent article of Jaafar and Jaafar: a reaction to President Buhari’s too frequent overseas journeys! I commented on it, but posting has been pending in disqus site for over a week now. About this, my idea of the burden of online journalism – the Nigerian version, is the impossible corners they push diaspora Nigerians – at least those highly informed, competent and alert to help) into. A major problem here is when articles are posted on the internet, they know the external implications when necessary facts are not factored into the article structure for simple reason of the reference behind rationality of the writers. Lack of such cannot make comment culture sound, balance and functional. You can’t always work by intuition. Not on delicate concrete and challenging issues – should you ever respect the difference between “deep” and “light” news and their respective weights and effects on the mass, peoples and results. In making his case, for example, Jaafar and Jaafar could have be his qualified journalistic skill factored in Ibeh’s article as a reference for his rationality on efforts to draw attention of the President on (perhaps) the strategic meanings and indeed also importance of his frequent trips overseas. By doing so, commentators would be tamed by facts of their choices and their own understanding as well as reason to put up comments enough broad or specific in the effort to heal and spur careful understanding. If we stay there and think we know it all, fail to connect and have respect for the culture of doing so, we become more destructive and evil and consequences backfire. You hardly can say how much money was stacked overseas to harass and buy-up those who would threaten and death-threat others. The business world is cruel and very immoral – give the money that is scarce at home, someone outside will use it to commit havoc on an innocent one. May God help Nigeria and the people. Hope President Buhari is not driven behind the dark for what is happening….!