News / Africa

    Nigeria Government Encouraged with Military Offensive Progress

    Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
    Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
    Peter Clottey
    An advisor to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan says the government is encouraged by the progress of the ongoing military offensive against the Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram.

    “The majority of the various camps where the terrorists have converted into their hideouts have been heavily bombarded, both by air and on land.  And I’m just receiving a report that about 55 persons apart from [at least] 20 people were killed yesterday and another 55 people were apprehended yesterday in their attempt to flee from the various camps,” said advisor Doyin Okupe. "The progress is quite encouraging and we believe that if things go on like this, we should be singing hallelujah shortly.”

    Okupe, Jonathan’s senior special assistant on public affairs says the objective of the military offensive is to end the Boko Haram insurgency to save life and property.

    “That’s the mandate that the president gave to the military and security forces that they must do everything within their power, within the rule of law and reasonable engagement policies that are acceptable to the international community to ensure that this menace is ended as quickly as possible and still obeying the rule of engagement,” he said.

    But some human rights groups have accused the military of using excessive force, which they said have led to gross human rights violations. Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces.  Okupe says the military is not to blame for the security crisis.

    “Many of these things that have been publicized in the past have been directly aimed at tarnishing the image of the military,” continued Okupe. "There are local interests within those areas who are sympathetic to the cause of the Boko Haram, but who are also very influential. And they have done all this propaganda to find a way to remove the military from this front and to allow Boko Haram to thrive.”

    Okupe also rejected criticisms the administration has declared war on the country’s north following the deployment of troops to deal with Boko Haram.

    The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has accused President Jonathan of declaring war on some states in the country’s north.  Last week Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern states following an upsurge in violence carried out by Boko Haram.

    “There is no reason why President Jonathan will declare war on any part of this country.  If there is anything that has been declared it is a war against the insurgents the rebels and the terrorists that have engaged in mindless killings of Nigerians, bombings of religious places of worship and institutions and killings of security agents,” said Okupe.

    Okupe says the government will continue to accommodate various views across the country by engaging in dialogue as part of an effort to resolve the country’s security challenges.
    Clottey interview with Dr. Doyin Okupe, Special presidential adviser
    Clottey interview with Dr. Doyin Okupe, Special presidential adviseri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: onita philip from: nigeria
    May 20, 2013 6:03 PM
    If nigeria Boko haram continue it voilent as the north struggle.it means nigeria will be separated.

    by: ucheharpers
    May 19, 2013 5:55 PM
    the ridiculous picture you have there are not Nigerian soldiers please...search google image for Nigerian soldiers. Am sure those are American soldiers

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora