Nigerian government defends response to Boko Haram crisis

After the latest kidnappings of more than 200 schoolgirls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, the government has been criticized for its lukewarm response and currently ineffective search.

By Aileen Graef

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 8 (UPI) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan defended the government's response to the abduction of schoolgirls by Boko Haram and the recent violence that left as many as 300 dead.

While speaking at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Jonathan praised the help from foreign governments in the search for the missing girls, and said this will be the turning point in Boko Haram's threat of terror.


"The governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France have also spoken with me and have expressed their commitment to help us resolve this crisis in Nigeria. I believe that the kidnapping of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria," Jonathan said.

Government officials have insisted they are taking action despite what people are saying.

"We've done a lot -- but we are not talking about it," presidential spokesman Doyin Okupe said. "We're not Americans. We're not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something."

The social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls continues to grow, calling on swifter action to bring the girls back to safety. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, and Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai have all joined the campaign.


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