Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a Delta Airlines flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, hails from the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria. His roots have underscored fears in western capitals that Nige ria could fall prey to al-Qaeda affiliates operating in west Africa.
However, the concerns were dismissed by Nigeria's Foreign Minister, Ojo Maduekwe, who has written to the United Nations and the heads of western governments in an attempt to assuage their concerns.
Mr Maduekwe said, "Nigeria is not a place where extremism will be tolerated. We have considerable amounts of documentary evidence that there is no serious issue with Islamic extremism in our country, which we are offering to you, the leaders of the western world, as a gesture of trust and felicitation.
"This information is currently held in a secure location, and will require the assistance of both the UN and western leaders, who we believe are good and trustworthy Christian citizens, to disseminate. We will therefore require the bank details of Mr Obama, Mr Brown and Mr Ban Ki Moon, and we will deposit 20,000,000 pieces of evidence into their bank accounts upon receipt."