Hillary Clinton: The ‘Culprit’ on Boko Haram Kidnapping of Nigerian Girls

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By Athena Yenko | May 14, 2014 1:51 PM EST

Hillary Clinton had all the best intentions when she joined in the global campaign calling to bring back the Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The campaign as represented by the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

However, the issue made a surprising twist as critiques were now pointing all fingers to Ms Clinton as the 'culprit' why Boko Haram had 'powers' to do the terrifying act.

Hosts for Fox News' Fox&Friends argued that Ms Clinton failed in her decision not to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorrist Organisation (FTO) back when she was the Secretary of State.

"This is really something. We've with been telling you about this terrorist group called Boko Haram out in Africa, how they've killed an entire village. They have since, in the last couple of weeks, they have kidnapped 300 young girls. They're going to sell them into slavery," Steve Doocy said during the programme.

" And prior to that, boys," Brian Kilmeade followed.

"They burned a bunch of boys. They burned down a village. It's all bad. And now word is, because we did not place them on the terror list, of officially known terrorist groups, it's going to be harder to go after them. And who exactly made sure that they were not placed on the terror list? Hillary Clinton," Doocy added.

"And the rights of women and young girls, those are pillars of what she wanted to accomplish in her time at the State department. But right here, what she didn't actually tweet, and perhaps because it was over 140 characters, was the fact that her own State department, as Steve just mentioned, did not place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations which would have forbidden any sort of authority to increase securities to them, increase assistance to Nigerian security forces in that area and perhaps could have saved these girls earlier," Elisabeth Hasselbeck alleged.

Local Columnist Opeyemi Agbaje of BusinessDay sung the same tune. In the opinion page, the writer revealed that Boko Haram had been spreading violence since 2009 but that the Nigerian government was just tolerant together with Ms Clinton.

"At a point the Nigerian government was actually persuaded (along with the US State Department under Hillary Clinton  that its best interest was served by not designating Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) apparently on the contradictory logic that doing so would alienate the North from the Nigerian and United States governments," the author wrote.

Ms Clinton had always been the subject of criticism surrounding Boko Haram even years before the kidnapping.

The Nigerian government explained that it did not agree to the proposition of designating the group as FTO for fear of travel ban and harassment on Nigerian citizens.

On June 21 2012, Reuters reported that Ms Clinton had put three leaders of Boko Haram on Terrorist List. Reuters reported that Ms Clinton decided not to designate the whole group as FTO to avoid elevating the group's profile as more powerful than it actually was.

The report was in tune with Fmr Asst Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, saying that an FTO designation would only " raise its profile, give it greater publicity, give it greater credibility, help in its recruitment, and also probably drive more assistance in its direction."

The Center for Strategic And International Studies (CSIS) argued that an FTO status for Boko Haram would actually prevent the United States from fighting the group.

Finally, on November 13 2013, the US Department of State designated Boko Haram as FTO.

However, criticism lingered accusing US of having ulterior motives in Nigeria. BBC reported that "such an escalation will expand the threat of the group, drawing in the deployment of US surveillance drones and introducing a dramatic twist to the conflict in the major oil producer."

BBC's argument remains standing. It will not be surprising if tomorrow critiques would then say that the kidnapping was part of a grand US plot to attack Nigeria.

The story could go on and on, in circular motion.

Curiously, the kidnapping that shocked the whole world, was done by Boko Haram six months after it was designated as FTO.

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