Sunday 30 December 2012
How we aborted Boko Haram’s Xmas Day attacks – Jonathan
You failed in 2012 – NUJ
President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that the Boko Haram sect had planned to carry out a lot of deadly attacks on Christmas Day but were stopped by government through effective security strategic plans put in place by various security agencies.
Jonathan said this at a Sunday Service at the EkklisiyarYan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), in Utako, Abuja.
He said: “The Boko Haram planned to carry out a lot of attacks on Christmas day, but we suppressed their plans during the Christmas.
“The extent of their plans was not executed because of the strategies put in place by the security agencies to abort their plans.
“Although we still recorded some incidences, but the extent of attacks which they planned was not allowed to be executed.
“Boko Haram will not push us backwards. If their plan is to stop government from providing dividends of democracy, they would not succeed because 2013 will be a good year for Nigerians and Nigeria. With your persistent prayer, we shall defeat them.”
Jonathan said the present administration is working round the clock to address the challenges of insecurity in the country and has put in place measures to contain the activities of the sect.
He said government is doing everything possible to ensure that the activities of the group do not push the nation backward, and assured Nigerians that 2013 would be a good year.
The President noted that Christianity and Islam are religions of peace and tolerance which forbid killings and blood-letting, saying it is strange how terrorism and suicide bombings, which were never part of the culture of any section of the country, have crept in.
He commended the authorities and members of the EkklisiyarYan’uwa a Nigeria nationwide for keeping faith and remaining calm even in the face of provocation.
Pastor of the church, Reverend Daniel Mbaya, said about 50 of their churches were burnt and 109 of their members were killed in the northern part of the country as a result of Boko Haram attacks.
He commended Jonathan for coming to worship with them, saying it was a demonstration that the country was blessed with a caring, loving and concerned leader.
He said Jonathan was the first sitting president to worship in any branch of the church nationwide since its inception.
Those who attended the service were the president’s mother, Mrs Ayi; his Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadome; Senator Philip Aduda (PDP-FCT), Executive Secretary of Christian Pilgrims Board, Mr John Kennedy-Opara, and some presidential aides.
But the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has scored the Jonathan administration low for failing to address the menace of insecurity, corruption, unemployment and other vices in the country.
National President of the NUJ, Malam Mohammed Garba, while speaking on the state of the nation, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to be more proactive in tackling the challenges ahead of 2013.
Garba said, “2012 has been very rough and challenging for Nigerians and our prayer is that 2013 would offer Nigerians hope.”
On Jonathan’s score card in 2012, Garba said there are so many issues such as corruption, unemployment, insecurity, and oil bunkering, among other challenges that are yet to be critically addressed by the government.
He said, “These problems, as far as we are concerned, are such that most Nigerians feel as if there are no solutions. The issue of security is gradually denting the image of this country, thereby denying a lot of foreign investors the opportunity to come down and invest in the country.
“And if you look at Nigeria rating in terms of crime, it is so high in 2012. Therefore, as we are approaching 2013, we urge the government to come up with proactive measures that will drastically minimise the high level of insecurity in the country.”
Garba said that in order to effectively tackle insecurity in Nigeria, government should acquire sophisticated equipment for the security agencies and also intensify training and retraining, particularly in the area of intelligence-gathering, to prevent most of the unfortunate incidences of bombings and killings of innocent people.
He said: “Also as the year is ending, Nigerians have to battle with the problem of fuel scarcity and high cost of petroleum. Today in Abuja, we are suffering with long queues. Not only residents of Abuja, but others who had to travel for Christmas to celebrate with their loved ones.”