Nigeria’s president vows to defeat Boko Haram

President Jonathan tells world leaders his country will win ‘war on terror’, despite deadly attacks and the kidnapping of schoolgirls by Boko Haram.

Nigeria President Goodluck Johnathan
Nigeria President Goodluck Johnathan

Nigeria’s president has said that his country will win its ‘war on terror’ despite another attack by armed fighters in the northeast that reportedly killed hundreds.

Speaking at the Word Ecomomic Forum in Abuja on Thursday, Goodluck Jonathan thanked foreign nations for their support against Boko Haram, which is also accused of abducting more than 200 schoolgirls.

“As a nation we are facing attacks from terrorists,” Jonathan said. “I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria.”

Despite such pledges, Jonathan admitted on national television this week that he had no idea where the girls were.

The kidnappings and numerous other attacks by Boko Haram have overshadowed Nigeria’s hosting of the forum, an annual gathering of the rich and powerful that replicates the one in Davos, Switzerland.

Reports on Wednesday said that Boko Haram rebels have killed as many as 300 people in the town of Gamboru Ngala. It is the same area where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted last month.

In the latest attack reported on Wednesday near the border with Cameroon, gunmen reportedly razed buildings and fired on civilians as they tried to flee.

The mass abduction has sparked global outrage and offers of help from the United States, Britain, France and China.

Nigeria’s response to the kidnappings has been widely criticised, including by activists and parents of the hostages who say the military’s search operation has been inept so far.

Jonathan’s administration has sought to appear more engaged with the plight of the hostages in recent days, especially after Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau released a video threatening to sell the girls as “slaves”.

In a second kidnapping, another 11 girls aged 12 to 15 were seized on Sunday from Gwoza, an area not far from Chibok and also in Borno state, Boko Haram’s base.