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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs