News / Africa

Nigeria Begins Education Program Against Boko Haram Terrorism

FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
Peter Clottey
A senior Nigerian official says President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has launched a nationwide sensitization campaign to inform citizens about the government’s effort to improve security, combat terrorism and update people on the search for over 200 school girls abducted by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

Mike Omeri, the director general of Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency, and Coordinator of National Information Center says security agencies will be involved in distributing printed materials in various languages across the country.

The rationale behind the sensitization program, Omeri says, is to empower and engage citizens about the administration’s effort to combat terrorism and violence carried out by Boko Haram militants.

“It’s a counter-terrorism awareness campaign material and it would be distributed in neighborhoods, in the media and so forth and so on. It provides useful tips and other telephone contacts,” said Omeri. “It’s one of the several measures that are being put in place, and this has been up and coming for a long time. Even before now, we have been having community awareness and civic responsibility campaigns,” he said.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms will be used in the administration’s sensitization efforts, according to Omeri.

The government has been criticized over its slow response to the abduction of the school girls in Chibok.                           

Opposition groups also say the administration has failed in its constitutional mandate to protect civilians from harm and insecurity. They contend that measures the government has so far taken including ongoing curfews in some parts of the country’s North have failed to prevent violence carried out by Boko Haram in those areas.

Omeri dismissed the accusations as politically motivated. He says the administration has been working with international partners to combat Boko Haram terrorism. 

“[The] government has risen to the challenge of the moment by deploying and seeking help. If government was not doing anything at all, it wouldn’t have sought for help internationally, it wouldn’t have mobilized its own international assets towards providing security and rescuing the girls,” said Omeri.

Omeri also dismissed media reports that some senior officials of the military have been found guilty at a military court for allegedly providing logistical and intelligence information to Boko Haram militants. 

“This is speculative and unconfirmed,” said Omeri. “The military has an internal way of handling its issues. Like in this matter, if there is any issue related to that it would have been taken to the public space by the military itself. I’ve had a meeting just a little while ago with the director of defense information, and he couldn’t confirm it. So it is not confirmed this is just speculation.”
Clottey interview with Mike Omeri, head of the National Orientation Agency
Clottey interview with Mike Omeri, head of the National Orientation Agencyi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs