‘Let No One Stop You’, Ex-Presidential Aide Recalls How Group Got US to Name Boko Haram A Terrorist Group After Clinton Rejected Idea

Former Presidential Spokesman, Laolu Akande has a word of encouragement for everyone striving for the actualisation of their dreams when he recalled how the United States designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation over a decade ago.

Akande made the disclosure in his weekly nuggets on Mondays hastagged #WeeklyPonder.

In a string of posts on X (formerly Twitter), Akande, a co-founder and former Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigeria-Americans (CANAN) reminisced on the invaluable role of CANAN in the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist sect by the United States Government.

“Never let anyone intimidate you,” Akande wrote on X. “In 2012, some leaders in Nigeria needed Nigerians in US to organise and get the US government designate Boko Haram FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation).

“So, we were given the job. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State refused. We – CANAN – kept pressuring. By 2013 with Senator John Kerry as US Secretary of State, Boko Haram became a FTO in US!

“Never allow anyone stop you in life, especially in your passion and values. I remember on relocating to US in 1998, folks said only menial jobs are available regardless of my profile as editor in 1997. I persisted and in months landed an editorial job at Philadelphia Inquier,” one of the leading newspapers in the United States.

In June 2013, then President Goodluck Jonathan officially proscribed Boko Haram as a terrorist sect. The US State Department would later designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in the November of the same year. While in office Hillary Clinton outrightly rejected the request of CANAN to designate Boko Haram a FTO.

Boko Haram, known as “Jama‘atu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Da‘awati wal-Jihad” (Group of the Sunni People for the Calling and Jihad) seeks to overthrow the current Nigerian Government and replace it with a regime based on Islamic law. The terrorist group had lost its former leaders Muhammad Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau, amongst others in the terror fight in Nigeria.

The terror group has claimed responsibility for many dastard attacks, resulting in the killing and kidnapping of thousands. On 26 August 2011, Boko Haram conducted its first attack against a Western interest—a vehicle-bomb attack on UN headquarters in Abuja—killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 80. Boko Haram’s violence—including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Borno State, Nigeria, in April 2014—brought international condemnation and in February 2015 provoked a large regional offensive against the group that displaced it from the majority of its strongholds in Nigeria.

The group has spread to Cameroon, Chad, Niger, amongst others.

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