Posted by News Express | 24 January 2013 | 3,690 times
In one of his frankest interviews till date, Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, last night admitted that Boko Haram could pose a threat to the continued existence of Nigeria as one country. He however pointed out that the group’s threat goes beyond Nigeria, as Boko Haram has gone international.
“If Boko Haram is not contained, it would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa, Central Africa and of course to North Africa. Elements of Boko Haram link up with some of al Qaeda in northern Mali and other North African countries,” Jonathan said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
He said it is for this reason that his government is “totally committed” to working with friendly nations to help contain problems in Mali.
President Jonathan admitted that initially Boko Haram caught Nigeria off guard; now, he said, the country has been making progress to contain “the Boko Haram saga.”
Raising hope about the eventual curtailment of the group’s violent activities, Jonathan said: “If you look at the last six months, incidents of killing started dropping.”
He denied suggestions from the U.S. State Department that the Nigerian government has conducted a large quantity of arrests and killings that have been indiscriminate, possibly driving more people into the hands of Boko Haram.
“The United States of America is completely wrong,” the Nigerian leader said. “No security agency arrests anybody just for the love of arrest. We have intelligence that enables us to arrest the people who have been arrested.
Jonathan also spoke on other burning issues, saying:
On electric power
That is one area where Nigerians are quite pleased with the government – that our commitment to improve power is working. I promise you before the end of this year, power outages will be reasonably stable in Nigeria.
You cannot change the mindset of people by waving your hand. You must take means to make sure that you don’t create an environment where everyone will be corrupt and we are doing it very well.
On alleged widespread corruption in the oil industry
Frankly speaking, speaking I want the international community to support Nigeria because this stolen crude is being bought by refineries abroad and they know the crude oil was stolen. The world must condemn what is wrong.
•Photo: President Jonathan.
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