Marking the public holiday of Democracy Day, which honors the restoration of democracy in Nigeria for the last 15 years, President Goodluck Jonathan (pictured) vowed to wage a “total war” against Islamic terrorist sect Boko Haram in Thursday’s televised speech.
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After commiserating with the parents of the missing girls of Chibok, President Jonathan made the declaration that he would use “any means necessary” to rid his nation of the “thugs” that threaten Nigerian’s democracy:
“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 and I assure them once again that government will continue to do everything possible to bring our daughters home.
“I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism. The unity and stability of our country, and the protection of lives and property are non-negotiable. I have instructed our security forces to launch a full-scale operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists on our soil.
“I have also authorized 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.”
Even though President Jonathan’s words were combative, he still extended an olive branch to terrorists who wished to be reintegrated into society and acknowledged the sect’s relationship with Al Qaeda:
“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, and to ensure their de-radicalization, rehabilitation and re-integration into the broader society.”
The embattled President ultimately ended his message with a call to all Nigerians — whether rich or poor — to unite against the terrorism that threatens all, “We must 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 with our security agencies and armed forces to overcome the terrorists who now threaten all that we hold dear.”
Since April 14th, which saw the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, bombed and the girls of Chibok’s Government Secondary School kidnapped, Nigeria hasn’t seen any peace. Daily attacks, involving shootings, the aforesaid bombings, hand-thrown grenades, and rocket launchers have been unleashed on the local population of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
And even though the international community, including the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in addition to Cameroon, Chad, and Benin have all pledged resources and manpower in order to either retrieve the missing students and/or suppress terrorism, it appears that the majority of those efforts have been foiled.
So far, the only indication that progress has been made came with Nigerian official Alex Badeh revealing earlier this week that the government had located the students. Badeh’s auspicious proclamation, though, was swiftly downsized once he also announced that Nigeria wasn’t in a position — given the sensitive nature of the retrieval mission — to return the girls to their families at this time.