- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Embassy Row: New York and Nigeria
The U.S. ambassador to Nigeria compared the terrorist violence in the northern part of the West African nation to the crime wave that gripped New York in the 1980s, as he urged the Nigerian government to abandon “heavy-handed” military tactics and adopt a softer approach in dealing with the Islamic militant threat.
“Whenever and wherever a population feels its government is not providing an adequate quality of life, it becomes complacent to criminals, whether they are vandals or terrorists,” Mr. McCulley, a career diplomat, told an audience at the University of Lagos earlier this month.
“I see some similarities between New York in the 1980s and Northern Nigeria today,” he added, comparing the high-crime spawned by a crack-cocaine epidemic in New York about 30 years ago to Nigeria’s bloodthirsty Boko Haram terrorists who target Christians and advocate brutal Islamic law.
“New Yorkers in the 1980s and Nigerians in the north today felt betrayed by their governments, who had failed to provide the things citizens needed, like good schools and adequate infrastructure. Criminals and terrorists exploited these sentiments and took advantage of a dearth of government presence to grow their nefarious organizations,” he said.
Crime in New York soared under two Democratic mayors in the 1980s and fell after Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani imposed tough law enforcement policies in the 1990s.
Likewise, the Nigerian army is preparing a major campaign against terrorist hideouts in an operation called “Sweep-and-Search.”
The move is a response to an attack last week on a Christian village that left 200 dead. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the massacre.
He explained that Washington “supports the improvement of schools, health programs and infrastructure in northern Nigeria as part of comprehensive approach to the challenges posed by the Boko Haram sect.”
Boko Haram opposes any education not based on its own interpretation of the Koran.
“It is also a reason that the U.S. objects to the use of heavy-handed tactics by security forces taking on those challenges,” Mr. McCulley added.
“Nigeria's government needs friends in the North, and a targeted approach to tackling Boko Haram combined with better services for Northern citizens can help it attract those friends.”
Haqqani fighting court
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- AP Exclusive: Man said to create bitcoin denies it
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rutgers professors to Condi Rice: Go home, and take your speech with you
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again