News / Africa

Nigeria's Leader Orders Full-Scale Assault on Boko Haram

Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, speaks during a press conference on the abducted school girls in Abuja, Nigeria, May 28, 2014.
Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, speaks during a press conference on the abducted school girls in Abuja, Nigeria, May 28, 2014.
VOA News
Nigeria's president said on Thursday he had ordered “a full-scale operation” against Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Speaking on Nigeria's Democracy Day, Goodluck Jonathan said he had authorized security forces to use any means necessary under the law to ensure that Boko Haram, which operates in the country's northeast, is defeated.
“I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism,” Jonathan said in a TV speech.
It was not immediately clear what such an offensive could entail given that the northeast of the country has been under a state of emergency and a full scale military operation for a year. Nigerian forces are also hugely overstretched.

He also vowed on Thursday to “do everything possible to bring our daughters home,” referring to the mass abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls, and said Boko Haram, the Islamic extremists responsible, threaten the country's democratic gains.
"It is a sad fact that as I address you today, all the gains of the past 15 years of democratic governance in our country are threatened by the presence of international terrorism on our shores,” Jonathan said in a speech marking Nigeria's transformation from decades of military dictatorship.

“I assure you ... that these thugs will be driven away. It will not happen overnight, but we will spare no effort to achieve this goal,” he said.

No details on military efforts
Jonathan gave no details of what is being done to rescue the girls who the military claimed this week it has located. But the military chief said he fears using force to rescue them could instead get them killed.
On April 14 Boko Haram militants surrounded a secondary school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok and took away 276 girls who had been taking exams in trucks, according to official figures from an audit this week.
Nigeria's Borno state, which is at epicenter of the insurgency, said on Wednesday a total of 57 of the kidnapped girls had escaped. But 219 others were still missing and assumed held by the militants, who say they are fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria and have killed thousands over the years.
“With the support of Nigerians, our neighbors and the international community, we will reinforce our defense, free our girls and rid Nigeria of terrorists,” Jonathan said.
“I share the deep pain and anxiety of their parents,” he added.
The mass abduction thrust the Islamist insurgency into the international spotlight like never before, with a #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign drawing support from U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and others.
"Extremist foreign elements"

Capitalizing on this, Jonathan has sought to paint Boko Haram as part of a broader global jihadist movement being directed from abroad, the first time he has taken this line.
“Extremist foreign elements, collaborating with some of our misguided citizens,” was one phrase he used to describe them.
“What we are witnessing in Nigeria today is a manifestation of the same warped and ferocious world view that brought down the Twin Towers in New York (and) killed innocent persons in Boston,” Jonathan said, referring, respectively, to the September 11, 2001 attacks and the April 2013 marathon bombing.
Scores have been killed in Nigerian bombings in the past month, including two bombings in the capital Abuja.
Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said on Tuesday the military knew where the abducted girls were but ruled out a rescue by force for fear of endangering them. The military was criticized for its slow response to the crisis, but Jonathan has accepted international help.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Agboga Endurance from: Edo
June 09, 2014 2:42 PM
A leader can never be remv wit force,bcause it takes d grace of God to become leader,Nigerians knows what they r doing,bt oh God show mercy

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 29, 2014 1:01 PM
15yrs of democracy? Hmn…, if this is what you call democracy, when will Nigeria be free? In the period we between 1960 and 1999, Nigeria had a single divide – the democrats in uniform and the rest of us. Today in the name of democracy, the country is splintered into a multiplicity of groups still obeying the broad line of the single divide: the super-rich politicians whose lifestyle is causing rows and uproar in the country and the rest of us. Unfortunately the only common ground where these two find a convergence is corruption giving birth to religious bigotry and fanatics rising in arms against us, no power, no job, Niger Delta fracas, MEND, MASSOB, boko haram. What we have earned is a democracy that opened up the country to all sorts of evil.

Nigeria’s is a failed judicial system where a political office holders and their cronies cannot lose a case in a law court simply because politicians and their cronies are above the law in the country. Which is why the judiciary can try a case with over 130 count charges and is unable to render a conviction, when the same case is tried outside the shores of Nigeria with only 3 count charges, there is a conviction on all three. Is this what you call democracy? Where the high and mighty can buy “justice” with just a scribbling on the back of a complementary/business card? Is this the meaning of dividend of democracy?

Some states are operating sharia within the Nigerian constitution and there are no constitutional judicial jurisdiction to void it until it has given rise to Islamic terrorism. No, this is not democracy. After all those boys in uniform who were in charge of everything a few years after independence were also Nigerians, and if democracy means govt. of the people for the people by the people, then Nigeria has been in democracy since independence. Unless the meaning has changed, then Nigeria should change also. Otherwise what obtains now is not different from what obtained in those days. For then I was freer than I am today in terms of purchasing power, education for the children, job for the citizens due to vibrant and functional industries, and value added power generation and distribution in the country.

by: emeka from: lagos
May 29, 2014 1:00 PM
I don't wana insult ma president but He caused all this. He now accepted international help smh

by: joseph from: benue
May 29, 2014 8:57 AM
boko haram and their sponsor's are evil
In Response

by: ali hassan from: tanzania
May 30, 2014 12:49 PM
Nigerians becareful who want to help you,remember you have vast oil and minerals and one somewhere is busy cooking this up by finacing the boko haram to their entry advantage.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs