The Oasis Reporters
November 26, 2020
…positive sign for Nigeria’s fight against insurgency
Despite resistance from principally northern Nigeria to shield the Boko Haram insurgency from global scrutiny as a way to make governance difficult or impossible for Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, one Obama top official braved the odds and ensured that the insurgency which devastated Nigeria’s north east, was finally tagged a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
That was seven years ago in 2013. That same Obama official who finally tagged Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization is back to reckoning as Biden’s UN ambassadorship pick.
Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, Obama’s top diplomat for Africa in his second term announced and implemented the administration‘s new policy, finally agreeing to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.
The appointment of Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield is a clear signal that President-Elect Biden is moving away from the earlier mistakes of the Obama Nigeria policyniks and embracing the revisionists.
“Ambassador Thomas Greenfield is one of the few amazing African American amazons who early in life spent time in Nigeria prior to building her phenomenal diplomatic career”, Nigerian born rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe told us on the line from Washington DC.
Emmanuel Ogebe has since sent a congratulatory message to Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield titled, Congratulations!
Dear Ambassador Thomas Greenfield,
Congratulations on your recent nomination as US ambassador to the United Nations by President-elect Joe Biden.
I was thrilled to learn of your nomination to this critical position in view of your legacy as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa where you embodied the course correction of President Obama’s Nigeria policy to a more pragmatic and realistic assessment of the insurgency.
Ambassador, it was exactly seven years ago this month when you and I both testified before the US Congress along with Boko Haram Survivor HABILA Adamu.
It was then that, as was widely reported in the media, you took us by surprise in announcing Secretary Kerry’s decision to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, an action which you admitted some of us wanted much earlier.
In my congressional testimony following yours, I declared that by this action, “Christmas came early.” It is a sentiment akin to my feelings at your appointment now.
You and Secretary Kerry humanized and stabilized a Nigeria terrorism policy response that was implacable and equivocal under your respective predecessors J. Carson and H. Clinton.
In addition, you brought a persona and decorum that facilitated a rapprochement with other parts of government and civil society whose pro FTO position had been previously ignored.
Upon occasion, you made time out to commemorate with us during the #Bringbackourgirls campaign at Capitol Hill.
Even in your post-public life, you again joined us at Georgetown University when my friend and learned colleague Wole Oguntokun performed his play on the Chibok girls in a talk back panel with Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
In a year when Nigeria advocates have lost several of our iconic American allies – Ambassador Walter Carrington, Mayor Dinkins and Congressman John Lewis – you stand in the shoes of giants to continue that great legacy.
Unlike them, you schooled in Nigeria which gave you a deeper embed into the nation’s fabric and I have every hope that you will do well haven gotten another chance to get it right the first time.
You come into office at a time when Nigeria has not had a US presidential visit in over a dozen years after successive visits by Presidents Clinton and Bush. Indeed Africa has had neither Presidential nor Vice Presidential visits in four years.
Just as former UN ambassador Samantha Powers made it a priority to make a historic multi country visit to Africa, it is hoped that you will also.
Once again, congratulations and happy thanksgiving!
US NIGERIA LAW GROUP.
It would be recalled that Ambassador Greenfield once paid tribute to some of the Chibok girls whom she had met as being strong saying she herself was traumatized just watching the drama “Chibok: Our Story” which once preceded a panel discussion on the sad saga of the Boko Haram Crisis.