A non-governmental organization, Nigeria Unite, has urged the United Nations to intervene in helping the government tackle its security challenges.
The group made the call in New York as it held series of protests at the U.N. general assembly and demanded immediate action.
“We want the UN to take a critical look at the insecurity situation and the insurgency in Nigeria with the expected immediacy, because our problem in Nigeria can engulf the whole of Africa, and that is our concern,” said Pastor Peters Ichelu.
Ichelu, a leading member of Nigeria Unite says it appears that the federal government has been unable to end the violence unleashed by Islamist sect Boko Haram in the West African nation, despite its efforts.
The cleric raised fears that the country’s security challenges may spread to neighbouring countries if not abated as a matter of urgency. Already, the violence has spilled over to neighbouring Cameroon.
“There should be an immediate intervention. It should not be looked upon as a Nigerian situation, it is an African situation, it is a world [problem].”
Although the Nigerian military has been battling Boko Haram militants in parts of the country’s north where the insurgents continue to launch attacks on the civilian population, backed by international security advisers, not much success has been recorded until recently.
“[The help] is not enough, we cannot sleep on our oars,” said Ichelu. “The insurgents themselves have to feel the pressure. We want the insurgents to know that we may not have weapons to fight them, but we are fighting them with pressure. They should know that our country is precious to us and that we are attacking them with our emotions. This is very important to us.”
Ichelu however lamented Nigeria’s lackadaisical attitude until it recently woke up from its slumber.
“To be very frank with you, Nigeria was asleep. Our leadership has been asleep, our citizens have been complacent, [but] this problem has awakened us and we want all Nigerians to be united to fight the insurgency,” said Ichelu.
“Insurgents capitalize on disunity. They capitalize on local problems and so they took advantage of our disunity and tried to divide us along ethnic, religious and whatever lines they chose to break us up and divide and rule us,” he told VOA