News / Africa

Nigerian President Seeks 'New Tactics' Against Boko Haram

Worshipers arrive at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, June 24, 2012. Worshipers arrive at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, June 24, 2012.
x
Worshipers arrive at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, June 24, 2012.
Worshipers arrive at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, June 24, 2012.
Anne Look
DAKAR - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says the government needs "new tactics" against militant Islamist sect Boko Haram, which he accuses of trying to destabilize Nigeria. 

The president appeared on a televised question-and-answer session Sunday, one week after deadly church bombings and unrest in the north sharpened criticism of his handling of the three-year-old insurgency. 

On state television, President Goodluck Jonathan responded to questions from journalists and citizens about the government's response to Boko Haram.

The shadowy militant group has killed hundreds of people in northern Nigeria so far this this year in its bid for a wider application of sharia law.  The insurgency has escalated since the group's reemergence in 2010, a year after it suffered heavy losses in clashes with Nigeria's military.

Militants are increasingly attacking civilians, in particular Christians, which has inflamed religious tensions in Nigeria's volatile Middle Belt region.

Threat to government stability

Jonathan said Boko Haram aims to destabilize the government by any means possible.

"Their attacking of churches is to instigate religious crisis," he said.  "They believe that when they attack a church, Christian youth will revolt against Muslim youth.  They don't care about who dies in the process.  And government will be destabilized.  If the way they are attacking churches wash out, if it doesn't work - of course we are working hard, we will crush it, we will stop it - but if it doesn't work, the same Boko Haram will start attacking mosques to instigate Muslim youth to attack Christians."

The northern city of Kaduna remains under a partial curfew, one week after church bombings in the state sparked reprisal attacks against Muslims.  In all, violence in northern Nigeria last week killed more than 100 people.  The unrest aroused a flurry of criticism against the government, which has been unable to stop attacks despite a heavy security deployment in northern cities.

Fresh tactics needed

On Sunday, President Jonathan fired his national security adviser and minister of defense.  He said it was time for "new tactics."

"We think that it is the time some other hands will have to come in to do things slightly differently," he said. "It's not that the people who were there before were not working hard.  They are good Nigerians.  They worked very hard."

The president's new security adviser is Sambo Dasuki, a retired army colonel from the north and a cousin of an influential Muslim leader, the sultan of Sokoto.  He replaces General Owoye Azazi, a political ally from the president's home state in southern Nigeria.

Northern leaders continue to call for dialogue and less use of force to end the Boko Haram insurgency.  A recent attempt at mediated talks failed.

President Jonathan said Sunday the government will revive dialogue efforts.

"But presently, Boko Haram has no face," he said.  "Nobody will come and tell you that I am a leader of Boko Haram and government will not dialogue with a faceless group.  You must have a face.  You must tell us the reason why you are doing what you are doing.  Then, of course, we'll dialogue."

The president also responded to heavy criticism after he left the country to attend the G20 environmental summit in Brazil last week as violence paralyzed two northern cities.  The main opposition party, Action Congress of Nigeria, said it was a sign of "insensitive and confused leadership."

President Jonathan said "the government must not stop for a second because of terrorism."

Chat draws mixed reactions

While some Nigerians said they appreciated the president's participation in the televised chat, they say it will take more than words to reassure them.

"As far as I'm concerned, the president didn't hit the target," said Mohammed Shu'aibu, a Muslim youth leader in Kaduna. "He didn't at all hit the target.  He has a lot of homework to do in order to bring security to Nigeria."

Others said the president's replacement of high-level security officials is a step in the right direction.

"If you look at it from experience, we don't expect a national security adviser to Mr. President to have a lackadaisical attitude towards their approach," civil society member in Kaduna Prince Abdul said. "It's not something you discuss on TV, it's not something you discuss on media, it's something you take action and propagate a serious security action towards that so that it can be stopped."

Northern Nigeria saw fresh violence early Monday when a security official said suspected Boko Haram militants raided a prison in the northeastern city of Damaturu, killing at least two people and freeing 40 inmates.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Joe from: TN
July 09, 2012 3:57 PM
A number of violent attacks on Jews around the world and the attack by a radical Moslem on a Jewish school in France is tangible evidence that the rise in antisemitism in our world is becoming a major threat to the Jewish people today. A recent survey among ten European nations indicated that the belief that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ is a major factor in this rise in antisemitism. It is also true that the ever increasing Moslem population in Europe is a factor in antisemitism among the European peoples.

Couple this survey information with the Arab and Moslem world's use of radical rhetoric towards Israel and the Jewish people and the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. Several ancient Jewish prophets revealed a time when the world would hate the Jews and want to rid the world of these people. Zechariah wrote 2500 years ago that at that time 2 out of every 3 Jews would be hated and then killed. Evil angels, led by the devil himself, will try and kill every Jew on the earth (Revelation 12:7-17). Jeremiah called this terrible time in the future the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). Daniel wrote in 12:1, that the Lord would dispatch Michael the archangel to protect the Jews from complete annihilation.

Antisemitism today will lead to Bible prophecy being fulfilled in a future tomorrow.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid