Nigeria Not Transparent About Boko Haram, Ex-US Ambassador, Campbell

A former United States of America’s Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has criticised Nigerian government officials for not being transparent about the activities of Boko Haram.

The ex-envoy, who was accused of predicting that Nigeria would cease to be a nation in 2015, suggested that the terrorist group still had the capacity to operate freely in the country.

Writing on the platform of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank organisation, Campbell said: “The latest Boko Haram kidnapping of female students sheds some light on the terrorist group’s current operational capacity and highlights President Buhari’s direct involvement in the matter.

“While Boko Haram’s kidnapping operation is similar to its infamous kidnapping in 2014 of female students from Chibok, the government’s response has so far been quite different. What this episode also highlights, however, is the ongoing lack of transparency with respect to Boko Haram activities on the part of Nigerian officials.”

Speaking further on the latest kidnapping of schoolgirls, the American diplomat said: “There continues to be too little transparency about the incident. Some police spokesmen and the school’s principal said no girls were kidnapped at all, and the principal said that Boko Haram only stole food until they were chased away by the police. On the other hand, a school roll call accounted for only 815 of 926 students. (The roll call seems to have occurred before the army’s rescue operation.) Several witnesses indicated to media representatives that Nigerian security personnel told them not to talk about the episode.

“More disturbing is Boko Haram’s use of armored vehicles, its access to uniforms, and its ability to carry out mass kidnappings. The operation appears more sophisticated than the suicide bombings that continue to be a feature of the group. Dapchi is yet another sign that Boko Haram is far from defeated. As for the three hundred Chibok schoolgirls, about one hundred still remain in captivity.”

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