The former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell has stated that the reason why he continued to involve himself in the activities of Nigeria was because he loved Nigeria. He made the confession in an exclusive interview on Saturday at Sahara TV studio in New York.
“I think, myself, that Nigeria not only has the potential, Nigeria has the calling to be the leader of the African continent….that’s why I care,” he said. Ambassador Campbell who served in Nigeria from May 2004 to November 2007 told Sahara TV that, “If I were hostile to Nigeria, I would simply shut up and be quiet. It’s because I love Nigeria that I refuse to be quiet.”
Speaking on the continuing security challenge in Nigeria, especially the threat of Boko Haram, the Ambassador, who is currently a Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Affairs, warned that the current approach by the government is not solving the problem. “Boko Haram looks like it’s highly diffused, highly decentralized-defining what Boko Haram is and what it stands for specifically is also very difficult to pinpoint,” Ambassador Campbell said. “There is almost a tendency in the media to label anything that happens that is bad in the North as Boko Haram.”
During the extensive interview that covered the last election in Nigeria and his love-hate relationship with some groups in Nigeria, Amb. Campbell defended his 2010 book, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink. “Yes, Nigeria is still dancing on the brink. Nigeria faces severe challenges,” he said. “For those of us who love Nigeria, the great hope must be that the government, civil society and all parties must do all that it can to move back from the brink.”