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Jonathan: Boko Haram in Govt, Threat Worse Than Civil War

08 Jan 2012

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President Goodluck Jonathan

By Ahamefula Ogbu

President Goodluck Jonathan Sunday declared the threat and menace of the Boko Haram sect as worse that the Biafran War to the corporate existence of the country and added that the membership pervade the executive, legislative and judiciary as well as all arms of the security agencies.

Jonathan, who said the membership of the sect was so pervasive that they are found even in households without the knowledge of parents, but assured that all efforts were on to tackle it and called on all Nigerians to collaborate and cooperate  with security agencies to tackle the menace effectively.

Jonathan, who spoke at the Inter-denominational service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja to mark the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, said in climes where similar threats had been  handled were done through the contributions of all citizens.

"During the civil war, we knew and we could even predict where the enemy was coming from, you can even know the route they are coming from, you can even know what calibre of weapon they will use and so on.

"But the challenge we have today is more complicated. I remember when I heard a meeting with elders from the North East and some parts of the North West where the Boko Haram phenomenon is more prevalent; somebody said that the situation is bad that even if one's son is a member, one will not even know. That means that if the person will plant a bomb behind your house, you won't know.

"Some of them are in the executive arm of government; some of them are in the parliamentary/legislative arm of government while some of them are even in the judiciary. Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won't even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house.

"That is how complex the situation is. Our security services are trying because as the president, I know what they are doing. Nigerians may not appreciate their efforts especially when you know that we are under-policed. We have a police force that is about 300,000 in number,” Jonathan said.

He assured the citizens that he feels the pains of the people whose loved ones were being murdered but assured that they have been holding series of meetings with security agencies and have mapped out ways of doing things differently.

The President assured that though the situation was worse than the civil war, it would not be long before a final solution to it would be found or their activities reduced to the barest minimum and called for the prayers of the people.

"This is a particular time when the country has major security challenges. There are explosions every day, people are dying and are being killed daily without any reason. It is a period we also call on the armed forces, including those that have retired to hands with their colleagues that are still in service and government to see how collectively we can protect our nation. I believe we will overcome our immediate challenges. The situation we have in our hands is even worse than the civil war. That we fought.

"Countries that have the kind of challenge that we have today who have about 20 per cent of our population have five times more than that number. That number would have been okay some years back but not definitely the number that can cope with the security challenges we have now. I assure Nigerians that we shall get over it. We are meeting every day and we are planning. We are going to increase the strength and the capacity of the security services to confront the modern challenges we face," Jonathan said.
He said greed and unpatriotism were twin evils that have bedevilled the society which was making it impossible for Nigerians to love their country to the extent of protecting it and seeking for common good of all instead of thinking sectionally.

Earlier in his sermon, the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Reverend  Nicholas Okoh, who delivered the sermon of the day with theme, “Patriotism at its height took his reading from 1st John 15:13 said the absence of patriotism on the part of Nigerians was at the heart of all the social evils in the land.

He pointed at the sacrifice by Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for humanity to live even those that did not deserve it and called Nigerians to begin to sacrificially love their nation and do all within their powers to make the country comfortable for all.

Okoh, who called on the federal government to address all outstanding issues concerning the ex-service men many who have died, were deformed, lost sight or hearing or suffered other forms of permanent injuries capable of keeping patriotism at the lowest ebb unless their affairs were treated with despatch to show that government cares for them.

He warned civilians to live carefully and mind their utterances since careless words from civilians cause problems that military men sacrifice their lives to address and described those who are longing for war as indulging in an unwanted desire since war was “extreme madness and great social evil”.

He said “But if you think that by going to spray bullets on people, you are pursuing your own agenda and your own end and people should listen to you and in fact they should call you for discussion and some people are backing them and supporting them, it is an unpatriotic act, wrong and condemnable for some people to arm themselves, go to church and spray people with bullets with the hope that they would be called for talks or because of any other selfish reason they may have was wrong”.

He further warned politicians to stop sponsoring things that can destabilise the country and recalled that some politicians had vowed to make the country ungovernable if they did not get election victory and warned against romanticising evil.

“You do know as I do that there are some civilians who cause war through their utterances and the way they talk, so how innocent are they? We therefore call on all politicians and indeed all Nigerians to speak, work and pray for peace. When there is peace the military job is less hazardous. So the greatest gift you can actually give to a military man is to be at peace and save his life. So Nigerians both military and civilians, we should realise that when we behave ourselves in an unseeingly manner that can cause war we are not helping anybody, we're really destroying ourselves.


“The Nigerian civil war ended 41 years ago, so we now have some professors, judges, national assembly members, prominent people who are post-civil war children. Some of them turn to romanticise with war, war is extreme madness and a great social evil. Patriotism demands that we all speak, work and pray for peace in our country. It is therefore very important that men, women, innocent civilians, military and all to work for peace. It is not enough to cause war and escape and then the military bears the brunt. If you love this country then have this in your mind,” he said.

The clergy also described corruption as an unpatriotic act that takes both from the rich and poor without giving back, adding: “Corruption does not help us, it destroys us. The absence of confidence and the cynicism we now experience to the prevalence of corruption in our country. That is why is becoming very difficult to govern Nigerians because nobody believes anybody any more.”

He said the redemption of Nigeria can only be dome by Nigerians as we will continue to lack future and will become an embarrassment to the entire world.

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  • May be the Naira 900 billion security vote in the budget is now okay with its critics. God is in control !

    From: Earnest Olawale Fasan

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Dear Mr. President, I appreciate the candor in which you have spoken today on the true situation facing the country with respect to the security crisis in our nation. The word of God says that it "is the truth that sets us free". This revelation of the truth did not come to you through human wisdom,but an answer to prayers that many have been saying daily calling upon God to deliver our nation, Nigeria. Let me also assure you that your presidency was not an accident;it was by the decree of God the Almighty. God will give you wisdom as He gave to King Solomon to crush this terrorist group called Boko Haram and their sponsors,and He will also help you transform Nigeria into a great nation.Remember the words God spoke to Joshua when he took up the mantle of leadership: "Do not fear..Do not be afraid". God is with you, and the electorate who voted you into power are also with you.Those who are opposing your government will soon discover that democratic system of politics has rules,and those rules are based on the principles of law which all citizens must comply with.I will continiue to pray for you and our great nation;VICTORY is at hand. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

    From: Michael

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • May be the Naira 900 billion security vote in the budget is now okay with its critics. God is in control !

    From: Earnest Olawale Fasan

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • GEJ now knows that the Boko Haram is pre-mediated plan by the powerful Northern oligarchy to destroy to make nonsense his government. Even some of the Emirs are sponsors of the hoodlums. If not why would an Emir who supposed to be traditional custodian of the people would not comment or denounce publicly idiots who went to murder defenceless people in a sanctuary of God. Why must we have this nonsensical Emir in Federal Capital Territory or in the Niger State. What is peace about islam if innocent people have to be slaughtered in their places of worship. Why is the Federal Government keeping quiet about the post-election threats made by Atiku, Isa Keita, Buhari, Adamu Ciroma( ex-cbn rogue)? These men must be investigated and if they are found wanting, they used be made to face the law. No individual or groups of individuals that is greater than the country. Boko Haram is the Northern elite plot to destabilized the country. GEJ should act fast, it is getting rather late. Late Gen.Abacha proved nobody can be bigger than the country when he jailed OBJ and Yardua.

    From: vince

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • What a speech.all the talk is not enough, you will have to re arrange the mentality of nigerians so they conduct proper research on the existence of God and religions. We must know that religions given to us is not our culture.
    Nigeria does not need outside help, We just need to have patriotic and sensible citizens.

    Keep on praying and we will all die sooner or later

    From: tony tito

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • So nigerians leaders now know those who are causing this whole mess and cant have them arrested! Is it that these people are greater than the laws governing nigeria or that a northerner is above the law which makes him see the other fellow as a cokroach!

    From: Abdulkadir zaria

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • They have promised to make the country ungovernable if a northern does not rule.They are only keeping their promise.So Mr. President, you must create a special force that watches the activities of some within our security forces.Their ultimate plot is to stage a military coup and claim they did so to stop Boko haram (their militant wing) from breaking the country.

    From: Seun

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Peace be unto those who follow the divine guidance. Never be surprised by the president's comments. True muslims remain muslims anywhere, anytime. They remain as supportive parts of a single body; assisting one another irrespective of what the world will say about them. Their zeal is to satisfy their creator even though the hypocrites (moderate muslims) may detest it.

    From: charbros

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Let boko haram and sponsors actin like fool, Jonathan without even told we them, Jonathan what you will do band the finish people not to travel so that they'll observe the experience of war.

    From: fool of 70 ibb and fool buhari

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Agreed.Nigerians are still waiting to see what will be the outcome of Senator Ndume being one of the suspected sponsors of the Islamic Sect(Boko-Haran).

    From: Alex Stephen

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Mr. President, there are things you know about the Boko Haram Sponsors that the ordinary Nigerian does not know but for peace. Christians are not happy having their brothers killed inside Church Worship. This is an abomination. PLEASE, PLEASE ,PLEASE BUST THE SPONSORS BUBBLES ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    From: Bass Mak

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It would appear the president said something new, going by the comments this article has received. The truth is, this should be common knowledge. The monster was created by the political class for their own selfish reasons. It may have grown over time, and grown branches, but it is the same monster! This monster feeds on the alienation of the masses and the polity from the political leaders. It gains wind from the greed and grab-grab mentality of the ruling class. How else do you explain the selling of our national assets to a few individuals, the non-investigation of the Haliburton and Julius Berger bribery scandals, and other national crimes too numerous to mention?
    The boko haram issue derives from the divide and rule practices that is fundamental to our politics, and this government lacks the will to address it, because it feeds from it. It may have swung like the pendulum to the discomfort of the present government, but it was fundamentally a PDP creation. Just a shame the wrong people are dying for it.

    From: Emmanuel

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The government of Nigeria has more than enough human and financial resources to challenge and destroy boko haram.Those in government should wake up and take the right decisions.There are a lot of security oriented business companies in the world capable of destroying terrorists in Nigeria.President Jonathan must now seek for help from outside because as he puts it there are terrorists in every arm of government.Send qualified and capable nigerians to Niger republic,Burkina Faso,Tchad,Northern Cameroun, Mali,Northern Ivory Coast.Six months is enough to knock out the nearest external support unit of the Boko haram.The roots of Boko haram is not in Nigeria.Investigate the links some northern emirs and politicians have with their peers in the above -named countries,monitor the borders of nigeria,tape phone calls,train neutral persons to obtain proficiency in the language of terror in Nigeria.In the meantime the government must start citizens on how to identify potential terrorists and self defence.I am not an advocate of summary execution but any person who is caught with an unregistered firearm should be detained indefinitely and terrorist should be shot on sight.

    From: ferdi

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • What we need as Nigerians is the evidence and the action. We shall not accept mere rhetoric from people entrusted with our security. If GEJ knows who the Boko Haram supporters are he should not be afraid to fish them out wherever they are. We voted him into power to protect our lives and properties and he should not use mere rhetoric to shy away from that responsibility. If the government is really serious about the lives of Nigerians, how could they have gone ahead with the fuel price increase when people are still mourning the deaths of over 50 people killed in the Madalla bombing? Even if those killed were frogs, doesn't the government feel it is important to allow people swallow this injury before inflicting further injury on them? Nigeria is the only country where leaders have no concern for human lives. The heinous crime perpetrated by Boko Haram against innocent Nigerians of all faiths should be urgently brought to an end by those saddled with the responsibility. If Yar’aduwa made a mistake by killing the leaders of Boko Haram in an unjustified manner and they are now revolting against the government, government should not shy away from investigating the issue if that will bring reprise. What Boko Haram is doing in not in any way Islamic, and as a Muslim I feel insulted if any Boko Haram follower or any other person links this with Islam. They have a reason behind whatever they are doing and government must not shy away from unravelling it. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) lived peacefully even with the Jews, let alone Christians, and no one should take away the lives of innocent people under the disguise of Islam..

    From: Bazamfare

    Posted: 2 years ago

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