Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire from Detroit, about Nigeria’s Boko Haram Takfiri militants declaring a so-called caliphate in the northeastern town of Gwoza.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Well it seems these so-called militant groups there just getting more and more [bold]. Now we are seeing Boko Haram Takfiri group in Nigeria basically saying that this town now is no longer a part of Nigeria.
I guess the main question to be asked is why haven’t we seen the Nigerian military more aggressive with this group up until now?
Azikiwe: There is a very delicate role that the Nigerian military is playing in this whole scenario due to the legacy of British colonialism in Nigeria.
There have been these regional divisions that go all the way back to the 1960’s between the North and the South of the country but Nigerian military has been engaged in operations in the northeast of the country where Boko Haram has been the most active over the last five years and it stands to reason that they will attack Gwoza in the days to come in order to uproot the Boko Haram activists who are there. They overran a police installation there and some of the police personnel are missing, so apparently they have been killed or either taken captive by Boko Haram. But it is inevitable that the Nigerian military will make an effort to recapture this town.
Press TV: And your take overall Mr. Azikiwe, I mean of course it is not just Nigeria and we see a similar situation taking place in Iraq and in Syria and talking about a caliphate.
What is behind this in general in your perspective that we are seeing an expansion of this type of extremist perspective and basically trying to justify in the name of Islam and almost as if there is a coordinated attempt to attack this from various sides and various countries all at the same time?
Azikiwe: Well! Most Islamist scholars and historians have rejected the approach of Boko Haram as well as the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
What is happening is that US imperialism and its allies are taking advantage of historical, regional and inter-religious conflicts in the Middle East as well as in West Africa to exploit the national divisions inside the country in an effort to enhance the influence of imperialism.
These efforts that are going on Iraq for example in the northern part of the country has actually opened the way for the re-entry of direct US military intervention in Iraq. Now they are talking about engaging in aerial bombardments in Syria ostensibly against the Islamic State.
So many of these groups periodically have been supported by the Pentagon, by the Central Intelligence Agency in Syria.The ISIS or the ISIL were fighting on the same side as others who were fighting us by the United States in an effort to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, in Nigeria because it is an oil rich state.
They wish to exploit the traditional and historic divisions imposed by British imperialism in order to show up US military intelligence involvement in those regions of the West African states.
So I think it’s a dual and duplicitous game is being played by Washington, by London and by Brussels in order to justify and provide a rationale for their continued military intervention in these geopolitical regions.