"I Don't Know Boko Haram Members" Alhaji Lateef Adegbite Speaks On Terrorist Designation Of Boko Haram By The US Govt

Alhaji Lateef Adegbite
By Segun O'Law

Secretary General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Lateef Adegbite has clarified his earlier statement asking the United States Government to slow down in her effort to designate the insurgent group, Boko Haram as a terrorist group.

In a brief interview with Citizen Journalist Segun O’Law in Lagos, the Islamic cleric dissociated the Muslims from the activities of Boko Haram, suggested ways to end the group’s insurgency and expressed concern over the likelihood that the group may have been infiltrated by foreign extremist insurgents. He also proffered National Conference as an avenue for  Nigeria to make progress .

Interview text:

Your recent statement asking the United States to exercise caution in listing Boko Haram as a terrorist group has attracted various comments and suspicions regarding the relationship of the Islam Supreme Council of Nigeria with the insurgent sect. Can you shed more light on the position of the Islamic community with regards to the activities of Boko Haram?

Our position has been made abundantly clear. As the highest Islamic organization in the country, we have been seriously concerned about the activities of this insurgency group, and we have made it very clear that we dissociate ourselves entirely from their activities. We do not believe that what they are doing is in the interest of Islam. Islam is not a religion of violence. Islam is a religion of peace and is strongly against bloodletting.

Islam says if you kill anybody, not that if you kill a Non-Muslim, it is like killing a whole nation. So, we dissociated ourselves from them, and we have made public statements in this regard.

If the Islam Supreme Council has nothing to do with this group, then why speak on their behalf to request that the U.S. halt the decision to enlist the group as a terrorist group?

Well, that is very good. I think people misunderstood my statement. What I said was that the United States Government should give the Nigerian government more time to deal effectively with these people, and they are already making progress. I asked the United States to step slowly because of two fundamental repercussions. One, it will undermine our sovereignty.

These people are faceless, and you can not determine who is and who is not. The United States with their technological resources can attack anyone from anywhere, and most targets would be innocent people. It happened in Pakistan and also in Afghanistan. So, that is our first concern.

The second concern is the difficulty that such a declaration would bring on Nigerians generally, especially the traveling Nigerians. The security personnel at the service of the United States may classify anybody as a Boko Haram member, from just looking at the person. We have seen that happening, where people with beards and Islamic garbs are mischaracterized as terrorists. That will make life difficult for the Nigerian citizens. But if they do their research carefully and identify these people, like they have identified some leaders who are terrorists, let them deal with them.

We are not happy with the way they make life unbearable for people, Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. We want them to be flushed out, so we are not protecting them, far from it. But we want discretion to be exercised to avoid indiscriminate persecution of Nigerians by the foreign governments.

But as it were now, are you saying you do not know the Boko Haram people?

No, no, no. I do not know any Boko Haram member. If I see anyone, I’ll hand him over immediately to the government.

But they claim that they are fighting the Islamic cause, so how come you do not know them?

I say they are wrongly claiming to be doing so. They are not doing it on our behalf, and we do not accept what they are doing. We have had the existence and practice of Islam for about 1,000 years in Nigeria, and things are going on well.

Terrorist threats in Nigeria come mostly from people who profess Islam. Recall the case of Abdulmutallab who attempted bombing an airliner over Detroit in Michigan, and now it is Boko Haram, also professing Islam. What explanation does the Islam Society of Nigeria have on this?

You can not conclude by citing those cases that all Muslims are therefore terrorists. We are not happy about all these developments. You know there are many people there in the world, who have grievances, and though some of the grievances by some people may be justified but they are using unlawful way to express those grievances. It should not be through violence. It is just a pity that the one facing us here is coming from people who say they are Muslims, but you should also note that there are other  countries in the world experiencing similar conflicts that are non-Muslims.

What do you think is the cause of Boko Haram Insurgency and how do you think Nigeria can come out of this?

Well, first, some elements in some parts of the country believe that they are not receiving their fair share in the scheme of things. They feel that they have been marginalized, and they think that the cause of this is the western civilization that has been imported and is made supreme and that therefore, they are left out. And then, they resolved to the slogan that western education is a sin, an abomination, which is ‘Boko Haram’. But that is a faulty premise. It is not the system that has kept them out of being part of it; it is instead their own making because many of them refused to receive Western Education, and then they are caught in the cold. Their mates have become Councilors, Chairmen of councils, members of the House of Representatives and even Governors. But then, their leaders are literates, they have received western education, they are using gadgets produced through western education and most of them are also employed in organizations that have western education foundation.

I believe they could seek a peaceful presentation of their grievances with the government authorities, and they can both look into what they want and what they could do together, rather than resort to violence. Now that the insurgency is so deep, I think that the Nigerian government should intensify attacks on them and find them out and deal with them according to law. Government should also use a diplomatic and tactful approach to approach and win over the moderate ones among them and re-orientate them back into the society. So that when the most defiant ones among them see that the moderate ones have negotiated with the government and are getting incentives, trainings and good employments, they  will declare that they renounce rebellion, just like the Niger Delta militants.

But the Niger Delta Militants are identifiable…

Yes, I think that is the big problem. They are faceless and that even makes them more dangerous, but I do not think that they are only Nigerians now. I am suspecting that there has been a significant infiltration of well trained rebels. They are either fanatical rebel from North Africa, from Somalia or even from Libya because their expertise is far from what I think could be from our locales, and that adds another dimension to it. So, the federal government must look into that. We now have to make sure that our borders are better protected; we have to make sure that we keep the infiltrators out and also make sure that weapons are not smuggled into the country. But then, there is also a social aspect to it, which I mentioned in that statement. There is too much poverty in the land, and the federal government should do more to eradicate poverty. The government should provide more employment for the people because an idle hand is the devil's workshop. These people are cheaply recruited because they will accept anything, apart from the fanatical ones among them that are ready to die due to misguidance. I believe that Nigeria is ripe enough to have Social Security System. Government should employ as many Nigerians as possible. Even those that are not employed should be given loans and trainings so that they can stand on their own.

What is your view on Sovereign National Conference?

Well, I will not call it Sovereign National Conference because it has aroused a lot of emotions. I will call it National Conference, conference of all Nigerians, to look into our circumstances and the people’s constitution. It is not the one that they say the National Assembly wants to amend the constitution, no, no, no. we should have a proper National Conference, a Constituents Assembly. The draft constitution adopted by the National Conference will then become the People’s Constitution.

Finally, some citizens have formed the opinion that Nigeria is a forced union and that those rebellious escalations will keep happening except we split up. What’s your take on that?

That is not a popular view. It is only the idea of some extremists. We have been living together as Nigerians for almost 100 years. In 2014, we will be celebrating the centenary of the amalgamation of the North and South. We have been living together, although there are certain policies, actions and attitudes that we should sit together and look into. When we all sit together, we will all find a solution without a break-up.

Segun O’Law could be followed on Twitter @SegunOLaw


130 comment(s)
Post a comment

may u perish in ds world n hereafter

Without doubt u ar cursed anger of Allah shall follow u tl ur short comin.u shl perish in a way d whole world wl kno wat ur offence is..woe unto u

I Don't Know Boko Haram Members" Alhaji Lateef Adegbite Speaks O

Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Love thy neighbour as thyself. If these are adhered to, there won't be any of these problems the country is going through. If the members of Boko Haram were to Love 'thy neighbour as thyself'. Corruption will not apply to the country


Allah is your creator, and He knows how to handle you. Wait and see your miserably end.


YOU ARE ALL STUPID for wasting my time to read your comments. You are hungry, broke, unreasonable! you talk from your pain not your thoughts! you are just some high volatile flammable liquid waiting for a spark! War is Pointless death, bottomless hate, unending pain. At 16 i stopped being manipulated by any person's or government's thoughts, emotions, words or actions. HOW OLD ARE YOU GUYS?

terrorist organisation

a terrorist organisation is one that brings terror to innocent people.

is boko haram a terrorist organisation ?

stop this unsocialized behavior

my preoblem with nigerian xtian is that they are so blindfolded to the extend they can not see anythin good frm muslim community in helpin to curtail the menace of boko haram simply because they take islam as rival. muslim clerics said in several occations that boko haram activities is unislamic and we condemned it in it totality.have you people heard any muslim cleric supports boko haram? despite all this disclaim from muslim communities and clerics you peopl try to associate us with their evil acts especially CAN president who suppos to join hand with other clerics to make things easy for nigerians but he chooses to go round making inflammatory statements. is that the kind of leaders we need in nigeria?Christian i urge you to pls stop this kind of unsocialized behavior and insulting our religion, lets us join forces and make nigeria a better place. And if you can not better keep quiet. beside 80% of boko haram victims are muslims.

Its obvious that you are a member of the BH

For u to make such comments, i strongly believe that you are a member of this so called BH if not you are one of the sponsors. God will judge u very soon.

Curse be unto allah 'n' muhammed

I hate too beating around the bush. My brothers & sisters, why not tell them the truth at once and stop wasting our time?
The truth is, allah & mumu(i mean to say-muhammed) are blood sucking demons.
In my findings, i hav come to discovered that allah is a demon of the arabs, which have been mistaken to be a god. Muhammed now is in hell.
After this life, u will know the truth.
Curse be unto allah 'n' muhammed!



Rubbish talk

What is the main reason boko haram members are fighting ? is it the poverty in the northern part of nigeria that their leaders subjected them to since 1960 or dessertification of the north ? All you see is killings of innocent citizens in the name of we want to instill islamic religion in nigeria rubbish. Have studied emotional intelligent for years having watch him during his interview i knew he was talking bullshit. But i want to ask one question if christians in the southern part of nigeria should carry out a reprasial attack what will you think of nigeria ? that one commentetor here stating that homo and gays are in christianity i now ask who are those Allahjis in kano doing homosexuals are the christians? The truth is that this issue is ethno-political-religious war. But let me tell you any land that sheds blood can never be in peace. For the egyptians u see today soon u will see them no more.
When you talk about the militans in niger delta the had a course the were

What do you expect him to do.

What do you expect him to do. These people are faceless, how can he meet and discussed with them. Some of them caught were not muslims. I believed there is a deliverate plan to divide the North using religion. I believed very soon God will intervene.

Philosophy and Nigeria Socio- Economic Problems

I find it dificult to belief Adegbite. If you are sincerely interested in stoping the activities of Bokom Haram you would have done so. Look at the innocent Christians that the Bokom Haram group have killed. Look at the numerous Igbos that have lost their lives in the hands of Bokom Haram. If this killings have been done among your People you would have done something about it. These extremists believe in the teaching of Jihad to fight non believers with the hope of being rewarded in the next world as they strongly believe.
You claimed to dissociate your self with this group. What effort have you made to holt their activities?
Look at numerous violent activities Muslim extremists are commiting all over the world and Nigerian case is now the worst.
Please help us to irradicate this dangerous activites. There is no reward for the wicked.

..And Islamists are not ....

Here you are making again the kind of statement about the Bible you would not like anyone to make about your book...or there will be more violence and murders on our streets in the name of God. How dare you suggest that Christians are gays...Yes you are right. The ones in Kano are also...... Christians. The Bororo armed robbers on Lagos-Ibadan expressway are....... Christians. Even the slave traders in Sudan are Christians.

If you have not been blinded by your own bigotry, you would have known your man is merely shooting from two sides of his mouth. It is the kind of deceptive double-speak that is the hall mark of islamic negotiators everywhere.

Thank God we Christians do not have to defend our God the way you do yours. Nigeria would have been history by now.

Wake up man! Stop defending the indefensible!

Nigerian Christians are Hypocrites

The President and the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affair spoke against BH but the hatred of the Nigerian Christians championed by their evil leader (Oritsejafor) make them to disbelieve. I dnt know what you want anymore. We will accept BH as one of our own when you people accepts the many evils of Nigerian Christians as the teaching of Christianity. Nigerian Christians champion armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, cultism, lesbianism, gay and homo. You hypocrites should accept all these vices first as part and parcel of your new generation bible before you blame the Muslim leaders for not accepting the evil people called BH claiming to be fighting for Islam.

Any good accredition for the Nothern people

I can't remember anyone from the North who practice Doctor, as a profession and is widely known, a motivational speaker, a professor, a credible author, a great man whom we can be proud of without d aid of politics in Nigeria? They will rather works nd be in position of power ng govt related organisation. Hmmm.. Wole Shoyinka, Chinua Achebe...

Adegbite US and Boko Haram

Boko Haram are a bunch of faceless cowards who cannot even come out and fight like men. They hide behind mamas skirt and lob bombs at innocent and defenceless citizens.They're spineless fools,claiming to be fighting for Islam. I dd'nt know islam now employs faceless murderers to propagate its teachings.

Anyway what goes around comes around,at least this time around we all know which side the aggression and killings are coming from. We will not keep our arms folded much longer. Who is afraid of US? If we ourselves wth all our sovereignty cannot guarantee safety of lives and property,US would do well to take necessary steps to protect its interests and perhaps ours too.

Meanwhile brothers and sisters be VIGILANT!!!

BOKO HARAM members have gone

BOKO HARAM members have gone astray. They have gone contrary to teachings and traditions of the holy prophet Mohammed(SAW) The holy quran chapter 5 vs 32 forbids every muslims from killing innocent souls. They are not in any way fighting for Islam. No matter what Dr. Adegbite says, the unbelievers would not believe him, bcos they see Islam as their rival. We have gay reverend fathers, bishops and deceivers of unsuspecting victims who paraded themselves as pastors. There are statues of mary and his son which they call god and worship in their places of worship. Do d christian suppose to be woshiping human beings as God. I believe that, dis is not what jesus the messenger of Allah taught u pple. Islam is d final divine religion of Allah. I pray u pple repent and accept Islam. Islam is not by compulsion as the unbeliever potray it. Having sex with same sex is part of christian civilization.

very soon u will join ur so

very soon u will join ur so called fullish brother to tie bomb on ur waist. u have been also brain watched and now u hv the gut to defend boko haram. who name it boko haram is it not ur muslim elders who keep their children abroad and finaces the death of other peoples children.U think that the christian that are dieing through ur bomb are fogotten, you will not go free from it? Open ur eyes and tell the young muslims the truth. pls if u have a son or a dauther don`t teach them these ur way .If u ever want to kill any body u will be theonly one to die in it. BIG TOZo


yes,Islam says, "if you kill anybody is like killing a whole nation". That doesn't mean Islam prohibit killing, it is just a statement. Does killing a nation means any harm to Islam not to even talk of killing an individual. check all over the world today how Islamic nations are involved in violence of wanton killings and bombings. The major challenge Nigeria and the world over is facing today is not economic melt down but Islamic violence. Is it that Islam has no truth in it or the Muslims are confused about the Qumran.Some support violence while others feign support for peace. My advise to my Muslim brethren, Please don't run a course you are not sure of.

The boko haram islamic group

U can lie to a blind man that their is oil in the soul but you can't lie to him that their salt in the soup,this ppl've said who they're & what they want,and some one's saying that they're not muslim,God punish that person,infact anybody who come out to say that the boko haramist're not islamist is a suspect and verysoon judgement will shall start on you,those foolish once,illiterate who don't want to go to school and be like others,the've brain watched them,since they're fools continue to follow the order of their so call leaders, kill innocent soul,they said they don't want westhern education,those guns,bombs and gsm they're using who made them,you see how foolish this ppl are,nonsence islam,senceless muslem,stupid ppl,go to hell


Everywhere Islam is allowed to flurish violence florishes there and they call it a religion of peace
Everywhere Moslems dominate bloodshed is the order of the day there, check out Pakistan,Syria,Iran,Af ghanistan,Iraq,Egypt,Sudan etc.
Will non Moslems convert to Islam seeing all these ?
Moslem leaders need to rethink their violence srategies because its a game two can play and it will not pay either side

Re: Alhaji Lateef Adegbite's response

I think you people islamic leaders are not doing the right thing. A group of insurgence came up with activities inimical to national unity under your religious formation and you are claiming your organization and the northern leaders did not know about them? you are simply afraid that the United States of America intervention will expose you and your cohort's role in Boko Haram activities. I tell you, you islamic and northern leaders are the faces of Boko Haram and i assure you, God will deal with every hiding faces behind Boko Haram. your claim of abuse of sovereignty is an attempt to dissuade the helpless government and i can assure you, all of you will fail insha allah to destroy this government. remember how God dealt with abacha and babangida governments respectively. i will advice you to speak with your co destroyers from the north because God almighty is passing through Nigeria to wipe away the troublers of the land. thank you.

boko haram/islam, in niaja.

the simple truth is that these are our brothers.the only thing is that they have become cancerous and dangerously becoming malignant. From the palistinians that started with plane hijack, to osama bin ladin, to our own mutallab,pant sucide bomber,has shown to the whole world what they are. Say it laoud and clear,islam has become cancerous and must be chopped off.shikena. The earlier the world become aware of this the better for the rest of us.pls niaja people take special note of this.


Most elites from the cure islamic north know who bokoharam is. The unfortunate thing is that they will never reveal who they are because they are happy they are fighting for ISLAM. What Nigerians do not know is that all Muslims with ARABIC blood are blood thirsty. The death of non muslims and muslims who are not moving with them is normal. NIGERIANs should know by now that only Muslims from the far north kill christians at the slightest provocation. The history is clear. HOW CAN A MAN WHO WANTS GEJ to negotiate with BOKOHARAM claim he does not know them. Thank God he appointed one of their brothers as NSA. May be he will go and beg them

You see,everyone knows except

You see,everyone knows except you muslim North that all these guys are stage managed to say they are from the South and Christian.Look my friend,ppl are tired of all these stories.Think of other explanations,because a lie will continue to be a lie however you paint it. Several of them have confessed that they were told to claim their names as John,Odiah or other names that would portray diferrent identity from their true identity.All the tactics of the devil are decoded everyday by Humans not to talk of God who had said such will happen as they are right now.


You don't know? You do! At least you are related by dressing sir.

who are the real BH?

Instead of abusing each other why not start searching who are the real boko haram,cuz most caught on the act were Christian southerners and in your comment you keep blaming Muslim and north. All these things that are happening there is a professional hands in it,we r not fools.Fellow xtian n Muslims open ur eyes if u want to comment just say the truth,no bias.


During the colonial era, the north and the west had the best traditional institutions. The colonial masters had no problem administering indirect rule in the North. Traditional institutions were not separated from religion in the north. Calling Boko Haramists faceless is unacceptable to the Nigerian masses. Senator Ndume knows them and associated with them. So do other personalities. People don't make donations to an organisation or association of faceless people. If the religious leaders don't know them, what about the traditional rulers in their localities. This is purely an act of social sabotage. Someday, somebody will answer to somebody. Perhaps the next generation will go to the archives and trace the emergence of Boko Haram. We want people who αяε forthright not people who who Voltronic to the Boko Haram cause putting us on a wild goose chase.

Let’s return to our indigenous religions!

I read sometime back that Nigerians were the most religious people on the face of the planet earth. Hmmm I thought to myself… and we are doing all the ungodly things one can think of; stealing of public funds, killing of another human being, bribery, adultery, bombing of religious houses, hatred, 419ers, intimidations of citizens by government agencies, homosexuality… what happen to the ten (10) commandments?

And what really perturbed me is the aiding and abetting of these vices by the so-called educated men and women in our society. I thought education would have meant the cleansing of ones’ mind… to contribute in the cleansing of once environment; and to prepare grounds for the next generation to have a better life than the one we inherited!

na your mama born you bros, u

na your mama born you bros, u will live long, nigerian government is a mockery, i have never seen where and how negotiation settles terrorism, goodluck and his cohurts are so foolish and a big disappointment to innocent nigerians who voted him in a huge mass for a positive change, babangida, buhari or other greedy northerners could have been better, atleast they would have continued their looting and leave the common man with his poor life-stop killing common people, obviously islam devilish, u can see it clearly all over the world, they are the once bombing and killing................dont wanna waste my time on them