Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Jonathan Orders Full-Scale War Against Terrorists

Photo: Amanda Voisard/UN
President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday directed the security forces to launch a full-scale military operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists in the country.

The president gave the directive in his democracy day broadcast.

Jonathan said that Nigeria's unity and stability as well as the protection of lives and property were non-negotiable.

He restated the determination of his administration to protect the nation's democracy, national unity and political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism.

The president said the activities of terror groups in the country had caused debilitating pains and horror on the nation particularly the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno.

"It is now 45 days since the horrifying abduction of the college girls of Chibok. I share the deep pain and anxiety of their parents and guardians.

"I assure them once again that government will continue to do everything possible to bring our daughters home.

"I have also authorised the security forces to use any means necessary under the law to ensure that this is done.

"I assure you that Nigeria will be safe again, and that these thugs will be driven away.

"It will not happen overnight, but we will spare no effort to achieve this goal."

Jonathan, however, said that government would be open to dialogue and reconciliation with any one or group willing to genuinely renounce terror.

"For our citizens who have joined hands with Al Qaeda and international terrorists in the misguided belief that violence can possibly solve their problems, our doors remain open to them for dialogue and reconciliation, if they renounce terrorism and embrace peace.

"My government, while pursuing security measures, will explore all options, including readiness to accept unconditional renunciation of violence by insurgents.

"Government will also ensure their de-radicalization, rehabilitation and re-integration into the broader society."

The president underscored the need for all Nigerians to remain united to win the war against terrorism.

"Christians, Muslims, farmers, fishermen, herdsmen, teachers, lawyers, clergy or clerics, the rich, the poor and Nigerians from all sections of the country must work together.

"The war against terror may be difficult, but the days of peace will come again. Terror is evil; nowhere in history has evil endured forever.

"The menace of Boko Haram will surely come to an end. I believe that because of your prayers, your courage, hardwork, faith and sacrifice, we will ultimately prevail over the terrorists and all other evil forces."

The president commended the Armed Forces for the supreme price they had paid in confronting insecurity and urged Nigerians to always appreciate them rather than castigate them.

"We must show confidence in their ability. I have no doubt that, with the support of Nigerians, our neighbours and the international community, we will reinforce our defence, free our girls and rid Nigeria of terrorists," he said.

Jonathan expressed optimism that the nation would overcome its challenges and Nigeria would take her rightful place in the world. (NAN)

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InFocus

Nigeria Orders Total War Against Terrorists

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a full-scale military operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists in the country. Read more »