President Ian Khama had condemned Nigeria’s terrorist group Boko Haram for the recent abduction of school girls and the regular killing of innocent people. Khama labelled the acts barbaric and a total disregard of human life as well as the rights of the most innocent, the children.
In his statement in the welcoming of King Letsie III of the kingdom of Lesotho on the occasion of the state visit to Botswana, Khama said the Continent is still faced with a number of security challenges that face the people of Africa, including terrorism.
“Nigeria has been going through a difficult time.┬á Kenya has also not been spared from an increasing spate of acts of terror. These barbaric acts can never be justified for whatever cause, and must receive our strongest condemnation and contempt.┬á We hope that Kenya and Nigeria will overcome these challenges so that their citizens can safely go about their day to day activities in peace,” he said.
Opposition parties share the same sentiments with Khama but condemn him for being silent on issues that affect his own citizen. Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Publicity secretary Taolo Lucas said, “what has happened in Nigeria must be condemned in strongest terms, action by Boko Haram is barbaric, we share the same sentiments with the president but as much as the president is showing much interest in issues outside the country he must also show interest on issues happening in his own country. He should be responsive as well on issues at home for example on issues of workers Khama has generally refused to engage the workers, he never came out clearly and address electricity crisis, water crisis. He always remain mute when issues crops out,” he said.
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) secretary general representing Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Wynter Mmolotsi said Nigerian issue was a sensitive matter and it was wise for the president to have reacted. However Mmolotsi fear that Khama might provoke the terrorists, “Khama’s position on Nigerian issue will not yield any results but put ourselves on the spotlight. My fear is what will happen if whatever Khama said doesn’t go well with the terrorists. We are just a small country and I can imagine how bad it can be if the terrorists turn to us,” he said.
Mmolotsi said the problem with Khama is that he likes finger pointing. “He would rather keep quiet on issues that affect his own people to blind the outsiders so that they think everything is going well in this country.┬á We had our own crisis that affected the very citizens of this country but we never heard Khama saying a thing,” he said.┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á
Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) President Masego Mogwera said the Nigerian issue prompt the president to take a position of the country, “but he should not be quick to point a finger at other countries while he cannot address issues that affect his own people. We are leaving in a country made by people we have to support those Nigerian families. It is a good thing to clearly state our position but a leader must also be responsive when his own country has crisis,” she said.