Nigerian President Downplays Terror Threat

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan told reporters on Friday that the terror sect that has plagued the country in recent weeks will soon be crushed by government forces.

Jonathan spoke at the Honorary International Investors Council Meeting in Paris. Last week, the Nigerian president told foreign investors that the country was safe for new business.

Jonathan has struggled to convince much of the Nigerian population that Islamist terror sect Boko Haram, which is responsible for killed more than 500 people within the last two years, will be stomped out by governmental forces.

“With the renewed vigor by Nigeria's security agencies to curb the menace of Boko Haram, the existence of the group in the shores of Nigeria will soon be history,'' Jonathan said.

Jonathan referenced the rampant corruption that has recently embarrassed Africa’s most populous country. Earlier this week, a government official was arrested after a Boko Haram spokesman informed police that the sect was receiving orders and funding from members of the Nigerian Parliament.

“There must be concrete evidence before you make an arrest to avoid blackmail of the government because when very senior politicians are involved, such as a distinguished senator, one must get his facts right,” Jonathan said. “Unfortunately, a serving senator, a distinguished senator is one of the suspects.”

Boko Haram, whose name translates to “western education is sacrilege,” is seeking to implement Shariah law throughout the western African nation. The group engages in violent acts to effect change, targeting Christians, dissenting Muslims and government officials.

The group killed more than 100 people – most of whom were Christians – in a Nov. 4 attack in the northeastern region of the country.

After the U.S. Embassy issued a warning to its citizens in Nigeria that Boko Haram was planning attacks in the country’s capitol of Abuja, Jonathan brushed off the concerns. Days later, two fuel tankers were blown up, killing four police officers and a 9-year-old child.

Nigerian citizens in the northeast region of the country, particularly exiled Christians, have asked for emergency rule to be declared in the troubled region. Jonathan sent three troops of soldiers and issued a curfew, which he prematurely ended. Two people were subsequently killed.