Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: We'll Overcome Boko Haram By June - Jonathan

Photo: Vanguard
Insecurity in Nigeria.

By the middle of this year, the federal government and its security forces will have control over the security challenges posed by Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan stated yesterday.

In an interview with the Yonhap, the official news agency of South Korea, in Seoul, Jonathan said that, at present, his government has reasonable control over the activities of the religious group, as their attacks are only being perpetrated in some parts of the country.

"In terms of security challenges, in some parts of country we have terrorist attacks. But it doesn't affect the whole country. We are in reasonable control. We have belief that, by the middle of this year, in terms of security of individuals, we will have control. (The danger) is limited to some parts of the country. It doesn't extend to other parts of country," he said.

Jonathan, who arrived in Seoul on Sunday to attend the two-day summit together with representatives from 52 other nations and four international organisations discussed how to prevent terrorists from getting hold of nuclear weapons and ensuring atomic safety. The Nigerian leader also asked South Korean businesses to expand their investments in building Nigeria's infrastructure for the energy and telecommunication sectors in particular.

Asked how he has been able to address issues of political stability which is important for foreign investors, the Nigerian president blamed investor-related problem on past military governments.

He said: "There is one key area that I want to emphasise. Nigeria is a very, very green area for investors. Before this time, during the military rule, you didn't know who was the next president. When the new government comes, there is a new policy and those policies are not attractive to investors. Basically from 1999 to date, we have established democratic government.

"I am the president. Before I took over, I was vice-president. The president was very ill and people thought there would be military intervention. Today, we have conducted election. Politically, we are stable. For investors, Nigeria has strong law and media. No president can just change a law that can affect investors. Especially, we encourage investors.

"Nigeria is a country with lots of natural resources. South Korea, on the other hand, is industrialised. So, if the two countries commit together, they can really enhance development. As Africa's number one oil-producing country."

Meanwhile, suspected members of Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno State have reportedly killed the biological father of Boko Haram spokesperson "Abul Qaqa". Alhaji Abdullahi Jimoh, a former Deputy Comptroller of Nigerian Prison Service was killed by suspected members of Boko Haram.

A security source told SaharaReporters that Jimoh was killed with a friend in front of his home at the back of Railway Quarters in Maiduguri late Monday night, but it was yesterday that it became clearer that he was the father of Abul Qaqa, the detained spokesperson of the sect whom the SSS and Nigerian Army captured in Kaduna recently.

The source said that the father has been out of Maiduguri city for some time and just returned to the troubled town recently. The identity of the second person killed with Jimoh is still unknown, while Boko Haram is yet to claim responsibility for the killings.

In a related development, five al-Qaeda suspects linked to North Africa have been arrested in Kano by men of the State Security Services (SSS) over the kidnapping of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach, in January.

LEADERSHIP gathered that four of the al-Qaeda suspects, including a Mauritanian, were arrested last Thursday in a raid on a supermarket owned by the Mauritanian in the city of Kano while the fifth suspect was arrested in a separate raid.

A source within the security service was quoted as saying that guns and a laptop, containing al-Qaeda documents, were recovered in the supermarket raid.

Raupach was kidnapped on the outskirts of Kano in January. Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb said last week that it was holding the German while a private news agency in Mauritania said the group wanted to swap him for a jailed Muslim woman.

We killed Boko Haram Commander - JTF

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military Joint Task Force (JTF) has claimed that it has killed a senior commander of the Boko Haram in Maiduguri.

JTF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa made the claim in a statement released in Maiduguri.

He said "Following a tip-off, a special operation was conducted on Tuesday in Maiduguri, which led to the arrest of a notorious commander of Boko Haram who was involved in recent attacks in Maiduguri." The statement added that the Boko Haram top shot "was arrested with his gang members in Jajeri area of the city."

Musa also claimed that the group's commander and his gang attempted to escape shortly as they were being moved to a detention facility for questioning. He said, "Our men had no choice but to shoot them and they bled to death before they were taken to the hospital."

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InFocus

Nigeria to Overcome Boko Haram by June

Insecurity in Nigeria.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan states that the federal government and its security forces will put an end to the security challenges posed by Boko Haram by June this year. Read more »