News / Africa

Nigerian Lawmakers Boost Funding for Fight Against Boko Haram

An armored vehicle is parked in front of the joint task force headquarters in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (File Photo - September 26, 2011)
An armored vehicle is parked in front of the joint task force headquarters in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (File Photo - September 26, 2011)
TEXT SIZE - +

In Nigeria, federal lawmakers are establishing a special security fund to help the military fight the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

Senate leaders say the special security fund will enable Nigerian armed forces to better combat violence blamed on the Boko Haram sect. Several joint military task forces have been established in northern states over the last year in response to a series of bombings and shootings

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, Rivers State Senator George Sekibo, says spending on those task forces was not part of the budget.

“We have not envisaged them in the budget. They are not," said Sekibo. "And then the military is coming out to fight about them. Now if you don't make funds available in the budget, and then such challenges continue or other forms [of violence] come up, you have to now apply for money, look for money, destroying other areas of the budget before you are going to tackle those matters.”

Since Nigeria's return to civilian rule, the military has been receiving a smaller part of federal spending. Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Onyeabo Ihejirika says Boko Haram's continuing security threat means that has to change.

“It was expected that the military would be less visible.  And that has not been the situation," said Ihejirika. "In fact, it could be argued that we are more visible now than we were even during military regime.”

Boko Haram is believed responsible for coordinated attacks on police stations, churches, and an army base in small towns across northern Nigeria earlier this month that killed more than 100 people. The group claimed responsibility for the August bombing of the United Nations headquarters in the capital Abuja that killed 23 people.

Boko Haram says it is fighting for the establishment of a separate Sharia-led nation in northern Nigeria, and has refused overtures to open talks with the government, citing the military build-up in the north. The group says it recognizes neither Nigeria's constitution nor this year's election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Jonathan says Nigeria's character is being tested by unnecessary killing and destruction. He says the government is initiating a “rapid and robust” process to “fight and defeat that evil.”

“We have lost relatives to these crimes, and we shall bring the perpetrators to book.  We share in your pain," he said. "We stand united as we confront the inhuman actions of the misguided few who seem determined to violate the core values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.”

Nigerian security forces say the mastermind behind the bombing of U.N. headquarters in Abuja received training alongside al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants in Somalia. Algeria's foreign ministry says it believes Boko Haram is now coordinating activities with the Algerian-based al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks and kidnappings across the Sahel from Mauritania to Niger.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid