On Monday March 18 suspected Boko Haram terrorists struck again in the ancient town of Kano, Nigeria.
It was not their first attack on that historic city, rich in true Nigerian traditions, but this attack has now left about 75 people dead, according to latest news report from the Nigerian press. This is by far one of the most devastating casualty rates in a single terrorist attack in the country.
Unique in this attack is the targeting, by the suicide bomber, of a mass transportation bus in Kano. While many details are still emerging, it is clear that the perpetrators of terrorism in northern Nigeria remain undeterred, despite some ill-conceived demands for a general amnesty for the Boko Haram group.
True to their certain imprint, style, and mission the terrorists chose to locate this latest attack in the Sabon Gari area of Kano, where Christians from the southern part of Nigeria are mostly based.
The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN, which only recently concluded a meeting and a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria with some of the victims of Boko Haram terrorists is appalled by this attack in Kano.
(Earlier this month on March 3, at that meeting, CANAN leaders announced a donation of $50,000 to victims of Boko Haram terror, who have been left completely sidelined in the ensuing national review of terrorist activities in Nigeria.)
What we are now witnessing is a gradual but consistent imposition of a regime of fear on law-abiding Nigerians including Christians and non-Christians alike.
When churches were being targeted we cried out; when Christians were being singled out we cried out; when they went for healthcare workers and vaccinators; we cried out! And now they are attacking the public mass transportation system in their persisting reign of impunity!
It is now clear that this gang of terrorists are also set to attack commerce and the socio-economic transactions of the people!
We do not despise the very onerous role of the Nigerian Military in their attempts to confront the terrorists, but the federal government still has a long way to go in dealing effectively and efficiently with the terrorists.
CANAN today is restating its demand for greater international involvement in dealing with this threat to global peace, and asking again for the designation of Boko Haram and all other terrorist groups in Nigeria as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO.
We note that the US AFRICOM commanders have themselves publicly assessed the clear threat posed by Boko Haram to US and western interests. CANAN is also awaiting the submission of a report from the State and Defense departments as ordered in January by the US Congress and President Barack Obama about the activities, operations, and funding of Boko Haram.
The time to act against this menacing threat is now, the US government should not wait. According to the outgoing US AFRICOM Commander, General Carter F. Ham, "If pressure on Boko Haram decreases, they could expand their capabilities and reach to pose a more significant threat to U.S. interests."
We don't want another Mali or another Benghazi!
Laolu Akande is the Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, which is based in New York.