President Goodluck Jonathan summoned his national security council to a meeting today to seek ways to combat increasing terror attacks in Africa’s biggest economy.
All military chiefs, the defense minister, heads of the intelligence agencies and the police will join the country’s 36 state governors in the capital, Abuja, the president’s office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
A bomb attack on a busy bus station near Abuja on April 14 left at least 75 people dead and 141 injured. Jonathan blamed the attack on the Boko Haram Islamist militant group that’s waging a campaign of violence to impose Shariah, or Islamic rule, in the country of about 170 million people.
Later the same day, gunmen suspected to be members of the group attacked a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok, abducting 129 girls, authorities said.
There were conflicting reports today on the status of the students. Military spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement yesterday that most of the girls were freed and eight were still missing, without saying how they were rescued. Asabe Kwambura, principal of the school, today denied this, saying only 14 of the girls had escaped the kidnappers.
The four-year-old insurgency by Boko Haram has claimed more than 4,000 lives and forced almost half a million to flee their homes, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said this month.
The government “remains very mindful of its responsibility for the safety of lives and properties in all parts of Nigeria” and will do everything it can to protect the country from “the scourge of terrorism and insecurity,” according to the statement.