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Pres. Jonathan: My Visit to Chibok Won’t Solve the Problem

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President Jonathan Sad - April 2014 - BellaNaija.com

For the past 24 hours, President Goodluck Jonathan has gotten a lot of backlash for cancelling a visit to the Chibok area in Borno state where over 200+ school girls were abducted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

His spokesperson Reuben Abati revealed he never planned to visit, and was scheduled for a trip to Paris. He called the reports “malicious”

At a press conference to announce the conclusions of a regional summit on security in Nigeria, held in Paris, France, today Saturday 17th May 2014, the commander-in-chief told reporters that visiting the area will not solve the problem, and the major challenge is finding them.

“These girls are not held in Chibok. Sometime, people want the President to go to Chibok. If the President goes to Chibok today, it does not solve any problem. The problem facing the President and indeed the Nigerian government is how to get these girls from wherever they are.” he said.

It may not solve the problem indeed, but will show an act of care.

Read the full address

ADDRESS By PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR President Federal Republic of Nigeria

AT THE REGIONAL SUMMIT ON SECURITY IN NIGERIA

PARIS, FRANCE – SATURDAY 17TH MAY 2014

PROTOCOL:

1. It gives me great pleasure to attend this Special Summit to deliberate on the current security situation in Nigeria.

2. Let me start by first expressing my deep thanks and appreciation to the President of the French Republic, His Excellency, Mr Francois Hollande, for convening this Summit. This is the second time within a year that we have come to Paris to discuss what are essentially African security issues. This present Summit further underscores President Hollande’s commitment to Africa’s stability, peace and development.

3. I also wish to thank my colleagues and brothers from Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, namely, His Excellency President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, His Excellency President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, His Excellency President Paul Biya of Cameroon and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, for their solidarity and friendly disposition in attending this Summit at a very short notice. Let me also thank the European Union, the United States Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, and the Rt. Hon. William Hague, the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary of the United Kingdom for honouring this invitation. You have borne with my country, the huge burden of our counter-insurgency operations, sometimes with collateral damage. I thank you for your support and cooperation.

4. Without doubt, your concern and empathy with the government and people of Nigeria is a clear demonstration of true solidarity and brotherhood in ensuring that the current security challenges facing our country are addressed in a definitive and conclusive manner.

5. But let me state clearly from the outset that what started as a local insurgency in North Eastern Nigeria has now evolved into the new frontier of the global war of terrorism against our civilization, our way of life, and against the many prospects of stability in our region. This is not anymore a challenge to Nigeria alone; it is a threat to each and every one of us in this room.

6. The Boko Haram Sect emerged in 2002 while its insurgency phase started as far back as 2009. Officially known as the Jamaa’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’wati Wal Jihad, which in English means “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”, the group is more commonly identified with its motivating principle, and referred to as Boko Haram which literally means, Western or non-Islamic education is prohibited.

7. The group is hostile to democracy; it uses every means to indoctrinate its members; its ultimate objective is to destabilize the country, and take over Nigeria in order to turn it into a base of operation in West Africa and the entire continent.

8. Since 2009, we have had to contend with many attacks and killings, which have now developed into a full-scale war targeting the stability and integrity of our Nation. Boko Haram has launched a vicious guerrilla-style campaign against the government and the people of Nigeria. It has attacked schools, slaughtered students in their dormitories, destroyed villages, communities and government infrastructure and has wreaked havoc on the economic and social life of our people.

9. This unconventional war has so far claimed over twelve thousand lives, with more than 8, 000 persons injured or maimed, not to mention the displacement of thousands of innocent Nigerians.

10. We have developed intelligence, which indicates clearly that global terrorist networks are deeply involved in the recent activities of Boko Haram, which has now turned into an integral part of the Al Qaeda network as the West African Branch. More tellingly, the group runs an international network of training and incubation centres in such places as Gao and Kidal areas of Mali, the Diffa, Maradi and Maina Soro areas of Niger Republic, Maroua and Garoua areas of Republic of Cameroun, the Zango and Ridina quarters in Ndjamena, Chad, the Ranky-Kotsy area of Sudan, and also some cells in the Central African Republic.

11. As a responsible Government, we felt compelled to declare a State of Emergency in three of Nigeria’s North Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. This became necessary to give the security forces the required scope and authority, to enable them operate more efficiently in the affected areas in order to gain victory.

12. They were directed to adhere strictly to clearly spelt out rules of engagement and avoid any excesses that may amount to a violation of human rights. Careful regard for human rights has always been central to our counter-terrorism strategies, resulting in the adoption of rules and procedures to protect the civilian population from excessive collateral damage.

13. Last year, I had ordered the release from detention of women and under-aged persons who had been involved with terrorists and also, persons against whomprima facie cases could not be established. Proven incidents of human rights violation which may have involved our security forces are always promptly investigated and dealt with in accordance with our laws.

14. In addition to military operation, our administration has adopted what we have termed “a soft approach” to combatting the insurgency. This includes short, medium and long-term measures to mitigate the impact on the people and the entire country. Our focus along this line, has been mainly in form of the introduction of a robust educational programme in the Northern states, to reduce the number of out-of-school children and empower the youths.

15. We have launched economic recovery programmes to create jobs, while also providing infrastructure, which unfortunately is heavily threatened by the terror attacks. Other measures include the introduction of de-radicalization programmes for convicted terrorists and suspects awaiting trial, and the promotion of opportunities for dialogue and collaboration with critical stakeholders from the region.

16. Nonetheless, Boko Haram has continued to attack innocent Nigerians without regard to religion, ethnicity and gender. Christians have been killed; churches have been destroyed, Muslims have also been murdered and mosques destroyed.

17. The reprehensible abduction of innocent school girls in Chibok, Borno State is another manifestation of this criminality.

18. We believe that it is the success of our administration’s Transformation Agenda, evident in the growth of our economy and increasing opportunities for our people, that has prompted the terrorists to intensify the war against Nigeria, because our success is their failure.

19. The activities of the terrorists have also been felt across Nigerian borders particularly in Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Border and cross-border attacks have taken place with Boko Haram terrorists seeking refuge in our neighbouring countries. So many Nigerians, fleeing from terror attacks, have also become refugees in our neighbouring countries creating additional burden (security and financial) in those countries.

20. It is the regional and global character of the terrorists’ campaign that makes it imperative that we explore and adopt a regional and global approach to addressing this insurgency and menace. Indeed, in the spirit of collective regional security, it is important that we accept that an attack on one country is an attack on all of us, and our common humanity.

21. It is equally important that we accept the principle of hot pursuit of terrorists in the context of joint border patrols and cooperation in order to deny them sanctuaries and make it impossible for them to take refuge in each other’s territory. I note with satisfaction that some mechanisms for joint border patrols including customs and immigration administration have commenced.

22. But we need to do more to restore security along our common borders, focussing especially on the actualisation of the mandate of the Multinational Task Force on the Lake Chad Basin.

23. In addition, we have intensified the exchange of intelligence and information on cross-border movements of goods and services of illicit origin, especially small arms and light weapons as well as human trafficking.

24. At the multi-lateral level, we are developing a regional strategy to win the war against terror within the region. The importance we attach to combating terrorism informed our decision to invite African leaders during our Centenary celebrations to deliberate on ‘Human Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for 21st Century Africa.’

25. We have signed bilateral agreements with our neighbouring countries on security and are engaged in Joint Operations with Benin Republic, Chad and Niger. In this regard, we welcome the support and assistance of all our partners from the region, the continent and around the world in providing technical expertise, training programmes and support for border-area management programmes.

26. At the international level, we should take concrete steps to designate the Al Qaeda in West Africa, alias Boko Haram, as a Terrorist Organisation on the basis of the Proscription Order that my government has already imposed on the organisation.

27. We should also accelerate the implementation of other international sanctions, particularly under the auspices of the United Nations, on Boko Haram, Ansaru and their principal leaders.

28. We are already making thorough intelligence efforts to identify their sponsors and their sources of funding and arms supply. I have no doubt that with the cooperation of Nigeria’s neighbours, it would be possible to rein in these organisations until this scourge is ultimately eliminated and defeated. We will not succumb to terrorists and their dangerous tactics. Terrorists will not be allowed to define who we are or instil fear in our people and cause destruction and mayhem. The time has therefore come for all peace-loving peoples of the world to unite against this new threat to global peace and stability.

29. The abduction of young innocent school girls in Chibok represents a watershed, and a turning point, in the global terrorist war against human civilization. The escalation by the terrorists should not go unanswered by us. The world is entering a new stage and we must stand firm to protect our civilization.

30. I will like to seize this opportunity to express the gratitude of the Government and the people of Nigeria to all countries who are actively participating, side by side, with our country, in seeking the rescue of these school girls. I must commend the efforts of countries like France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, among other partners who have offered technical assistance to my Government in our joint efforts to rescue these innocent children.

31. The major challenge that we have faced in our search and rescue operation so far has been the deluge of misinformation about the whereabouts of the girls and the circumstances of their disappearance.

32. We have deployed about 20,000 troops to the area, intensified aerial surveillance, and strengthened local intelligence resources. We shall spare no effort, we shall explore every avenue; we shall turn every stone, to ensure the return of the girls to their families and that the terrorists are defeated.

33. Once again, I wish to thank all participants for your attendance at this Conference.

34. I am confident that the outcome of our deliberations will go a long way in assisting us to address both the immediate challenges and root causes of Boko Haram insurgency in order to restore enduring peace and stability, not just to Nigeria but also to our sub-region.

35. This latest attack is a wake up call for all of us. A line has been drawn in the sand; a test is put to each one of us. Nigeria will rise up to this challenge and will prevail. I call upon each one of you to stand up and be counted with us in this fight.

36. I thank you all.

25 Comments

  1. Na wa

    May 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Mschew…if only it involved one of his family members,I bet he would be more proactive.

  2. ja

    May 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    When I have children and they do or say something STUPID, I will simply say “are you Goodluck Jonathan, abeg fix up”. This will be the legacy of this man.

  3. Marc Francis of Chelsea

    May 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    It will boost nationwide moral! Take the door marked exit with these excuses.

  4. Soraya

    May 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Why is Jonathan addressing us from Paris? Surely he should be at home in Nigeria declaring war on BH rather than doing it from Paris? I demand Jonathan’s resignation right now!

  5. Garfunkel

    May 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I wish Mr. President would understand that while going to Chibok will definitely not bring the girls back, it will go a long way in showing the residents that they are not alone. These are fellow Nigerians who live in fear day after day and sleep in the bush at night because they still fear for their safety. Going over there will at least give the people some hope that the President cares enough to actually come and see how things are on the ground. It might seem like a small step but I think it will help in assuaging the fears and worries of the Chibok residents.

    • bb

      May 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      My fellow Nigerians, I have every reason to be tribalistic and support Jonathan like fly following dead body to the grave, because for us, the Ijaws we have suffered extreme marginalization since the creation of this entity called Nigeria.

      However, only an idiot closes his head to reason, when he is faced with facts.
      Let Jonathan be an example, to all of us on what not to do when you have been elevated to a position of authority. In 2011, Jonathan had a lot of goodwill from the Nigerian people and instead of riding on that goodwill and fixing infrastructure, and providing public goods. The greed of him and his wife led him to surround himself with fools that deceive him that all is well.

      He first lost my respect in 2011, when without any prior notice he removed fuel subsidy, in retrospect I think he did it purposely, he was under pressure by the IMF to remove the subsidies for economic reasons which if you listen to is quite understandable BUT because of him and his cronies greed, instead of introducing a transition period where the subsidy will come into effect, he did it immediately in fact on the first of January knowing fully well that Nigerians will protest and protest hard, he will pretend for like a week that he is going to dig his legs in to deceive the IMF that public pressure made him to partially remove the subsidies so him and his cronies can continue to benefit from the subsidies fraud. Let us not be deceived by the things this guy does, he has no control of his decisions and reasoning, other people reason for him and many of them are deliberately sabotaging his government.

      DO NOT LISTEN TO ONE WORD THIS MAN SAYS, ALL NA WASH, HE HAS NO CONTROL OF ASO ROCK, HE HAS A CABAL SURROUNDING HIM.

      Have u noticed even Patience has stopped interfering in politics too much, she is on a tight leash. Let us save ourselves JONah na one chance and mugu. Him never save himself,
      Chibok people forget Jonah, saboteurs in his GOVT might have deliberately put out that fake visit, now they have advised him to say what does it solve visiting you, does the fool realize that he is both Head of state and Head of govt, he is supposed to mourn and laugh with us BUT to attend Olu of Ibadan 100 years bday, 1 day after Nyanya and Chibok is solving a poroblem, attending a rally in Kano, woe betide you jonathan and co. MAny of you dilly dallying for this 2015, will not see it and that is a CURSE!

  6. Commentrina

    May 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    He gives me no confidence. I watched him on TV. He spoke well on a few points but for the most part, he sounded like a complete dullard.

    Who else is contesting for this office at the next elections please?

  7. Mimi

    May 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Some people in the Jonathan camp need to stop talking, as they constantly raise the incompetence level of this administration with every new comment they make. They can’t even bullshit well like really!!!. Your wife and her supporters are already going around saying the kidnap is a fake ( don’t know what to believe as it is all murky, incompetent governor blaming Federal government, both authorities playing politics with peoples life). To Mr Reuben Abati ( I am guessing he made the comment BN quoted) I am sure the parents of the girls and country know that President GEJ has no messiah abilities but his presence at any time would have shown sympathy, empathy and demonstrated that the full force of the Federal government is involved in resolving the issue.

  8. De Chiomzy

    May 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you my president

    • huum

      May 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      For making a moronic commennt like that?

  9. De Chiomzy

    May 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    I can say with everything i value that the first person to comment on this issue is the worst full ever.

    • Ada Nnewi

      May 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

      full?! I can clearly see you’re an Id*@t!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

      This coming from someone who’s just denounced someone else as a “full”. Oh, the irony.

      And I honestly doubt this gaffe was a result of auto-correct tripping you up….

  10. Jojo

    May 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    #bringbaackourgirls.

    What is being done?

  11. Shadie

    May 18, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Jona your visit will not solve the problem but your visit shows that you empathise with the parents of those kidnapped school girls and the Nation at large. It’s not rocket science Mr President. Thank you.

  12. mark

    May 18, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Saying the president sounds like a dullard. is that wat you looking at or what the solution is ? the president has a lay-back way of approaching things doesn’t make him a dullard most Nigerians cant snap out of military way of ruling ..the president is not a military like other president ..listen to what he says not is looks or how he sounds.. this problem is not this administrations fault. we have had more Muslim presidents in Nigeria than any other religion..they themselves didn’t develop the north since they don’t believe in education instead you have beautiful mosque .. gorilla war is the hardest to fight …give the government some credit ..some countries are bomb 5 times daily

  13. Kkk

    May 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

    He said his visit won’t solve d problem. Obviously he does not understand d essence of such which responsible leaders elsewhere who value their citizens must undertake whenever calamity calls. But he knows what he is doing. My simple question is when he cancelled d FEC meeting and visited his VP who lost his brother, did he think d visit would wake up d dead guy? Even if he did not visit Chibok, a high powered govt delegation should have visited within 48 hours of d event. But how would they have done that when they never believed the girls were missing in d first place and of course d tactic of GEJ’s men is to make some overused statements and wait till all d cries mellow down or a worse calamity occurs,. They were however disappointed at d unexpected momentum of #BringBackOurGirls.

  14. @edDREAMZ

    May 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Am with yu man on that one…. Yu can still control things frm were ever yu are…
    .
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

    • huum

      May 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Yup, he can control it from JUPITER as well!!!

  15. Bolanle

    May 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

    This is such a disgrace GOODLUCK JONATHAN.

  16. Amh

    May 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Just go to chibok. You insesitive heartless, uncaring fool. If its barack obama or a sane western leader, they will be in chibok the next day. You have to show compassion and bravery to your citizens you dullard. Just do us a favor and resugn or disappear.

  17. John

    May 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    It is quite sad that president Jonathan is not courageous enough to leave the comfort of his palace to go rescue the young lambs, its enough to tell me that he’s not a good shepherd willing to die for the sheep. He should read the bible and learn leadership lessons from king David. If the president is afraid to go there, no wonder the soldiers have lost morale. Why should anyone live in Chibok if Jonathan is scared of even going there?

  18. kelechi

    May 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    The man knows things we dont know and is clearly afraid of dying

  19. i said it

    May 18, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    “Goodluck jonathan is a dullard” try saying that around 96 n see if u dont dissappear. All the liberty we now enjoy that we take 4 granted, constantly cussing out our leaders. Down to the lowest level Nigeria is filled with corrupt hypocrites who thrive through mediocrity. We quickly look for som1 to blame and insult. The stae governor is a terrorist patron n the security persoonnel in d state are compromised, the BH boys have their stronghold in the area n you pple want the president to go there so he’ll be ambushed n killed . Then the muslim VP will take over n so it’ll be BH presidents for another 38 years like they did till 99. Nigeria will not survive it. We have yet to recover from the running down IBB,Abacha n all their brothers did to our country. Leave Jona alone

  20. www.blogsvila.blogspot.com

    May 19, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Nope, it won’t…but it would help people know that we have a president who can risk his life for his people

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