Nigerian-Americans have welcomed Barack Obama’s pledge to help stop terror against Nigerian churches.
The US President used his speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC to speak up for religious freedom around the world and reiterate his determination to stamp out terrorism.
He also restated the resolve of the US government to support the Nigerian people in the ongoing effort to end terrorism.
“I’ve pledged our support to the people of Nigeria, who deserve to worship in their churches and mosques in peace, free from terror,” Obama said.
The US State Department recently designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. The Islamist militant group has waged a campaign of violence and death against government institutions and churches, killing thousands. Targets have also included Muslims who have opposed them.
There have been news reports that the US military are going to train Nigerian forces in the effort to properly combat terror groups in the country and in the West African region.
Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN, welcomed the continued focus of the US government and the support of President Obama against Boko Haram.
“It is our hope and expectation that with the active support of the US government, including through the implementation of the FTO designation of the terror groups, Nigerian Christians and others would heave a huge sigh of relief from the brutal and ruthless violence that is being perpetrated by extreme Jihadist fundamentalists and terrorists,” the group said.
“We call for greater and increasing support from the US government especially in the area of going after terror king pins within the context of the FTO, and also supporting the ongoing operations of the Nigerian military to end the carnage in northeastern Nigeria.”
In addition to condemning terrorism, Obama said in his speech it was “clear that around the world freedom of religion is under threat”.