Former Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o is using his fame for a good cause as he has now given a strong statement against the deadly terrorists called Boko Haram ravaging the Northern part of Nigeria.
The former Barcelona and Chelsea star has set up the Yellow Whistleblower FC foundation to raise funds and awareness to help people fleeing Nigeria and Cameroon amid the increasing amount of attacks from Boko Haram militants.
Eto’o, says it’s time the world stepped up its response to this menace called Boko Haram. The 34-year-old urged leaders and the media to react as they did to the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris in January.
“It is important for us to talk about it — if we don’t do it, who will? We all tried to offer our support (after Charlie Hebdo). We saw African head of states coming to Paris to offer their support to France.” He said in an interview with CNN.
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“Why, when it comes to Africa — when it comes to our continent — don’t we do anything? Maybe because the media are not doing what they should do.
“When it comes to Charlie Hebdo, we talk about it. The media were right: It was important to talk about that. However when it comes to Boko Haram, we need to wait for the most horrific things to happen for the media to say a word.” said the four-time African player of the year.
“After that, everybody stops talking about it. It is like nothing ever happened.
“I think journalists should have denounced this situation. We saw what happened in France. We were very sad about this. We were asking ourselves, ‘How can this happen? How can they succeed? How can these people take away lives of happy people who had families and friends?’”
“I was affected, like many of my African brothers, by Boko Haram. We haven’t been affected by such horrors in a very long time,” he said. “We are seeing these atrocities and we seem powerless.
“We need to cope with this situation. We need to denounce it and find solutions at our level while our armed forces do their own job on the ground.”
Eto’o said one of the most effective ways to defeat Boko Haram and its ideology would be through education, which he called “the most formidable weapon.”
“We need to create schools and give the possibility to these children to learn and understand,” explained Eto’o, whose illustrious career has taken him to Italy, Spain, Russia, England and Turkey, winning three European Champions League titles. He was reportedly one of the the world’s highest-paid players at Anzhi Makhachkala.
“Some of these children affected by the situation are young and are easily manipulable, and they are manipulated. These children are used and join this terrorist organization.”
Eto’o, who now plays for Turkish club Antalyaspor, said: “We wanted to show the right way to our young brothers, but the ignorance that we have in Africa leads to our own brothers shooting at us.
“When you are African, and you are sometimes better (at something) than Europeans or Americans, you’re not considered African.
“It’s frustrating but you can’t be mad. I refuse to be ignorant. The only message that I want to give is that I want people to have easy access to education.”