News / Africa

    Nigerian President Reaffirms Commitment to Rescue Schoolgirls

    FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
    FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
    VOA News
    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says his government will continue to do "everything possible" to bring home more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram last month.

    In a recorded speech released Thursday, Jonathan noted it had been 45 days since the "horrifying abduction" took place. He expressed solidarity with the families of the abductees.

    "Our dear country Nigeria, is facing a new challenge," he said. "A war has been unleashed on us. Extremist foreign elements, collaborating with some of our misguided citizens, are focused on an attempt to bring down our country and the democracy and freedom we cherish and celebrate today."

    He pledged to wage a "total war against terrorism" and said he had instructed his security forces to use any lawful means necessary to end the "impunity" of terrorists on Nigerian soil.

    The president commented in an address marking Democracy Day, a national holiday in the country. He said his government was open to dialogue with citizens who had backed al-Qaida or other similar groups, if they renounce terrorism.

    Also Thursday, gunmen on motorbikes were reported to have killed at least 32 people in villages in the northeastern Nigerian Borno state.

    On Monday, a top military official said the military knew where the schoolgirls were being held captive, but said it would be difficult to use force to rescue them.

    Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh told reporters in Abuja that a military operation could be dangerous for the girls. He said, "We can't kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back."

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    Comments
         
    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    May 29, 2014 11:12 AM
    Perhaps the offer of military surveillance aid to Nigeria has paid off. If so, this is good for relations with Nigeria and Africa. It is through intelligent interactions that stronger bonds can be forged between the US and Africa. This is good for the societies and economies of Africa and the US. Intelligent counter-terrorism succeeds through intelligent special forces actions.

    by: Humble Zayon from: Nigeria
    May 29, 2014 10:20 AM
    Mr. President, you can only succeed in this war against the so-called "boko-haram" if you make bold and wise move to purge your government and the military of the boko-haram sympathizers and apologists.

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