LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan vowed on Saturday to bring back home girls kidnapped in April of 2014 from a school in Chibok, a city of the northeastern Borno State, if elected president for a second term.
“We must surely conquer terror and return peace to Borno,” the President said. “We must bring back the Chibok schoolgirls,” he added.
He was in a reelection campaign tour in the northeastern Borno State, the main center of activities for the radical Boko Haram movement, which has been fighting against the Nigerian army for several years now.
Jonathan said Borno ought to return to its former self as a “home of peace.”
Addressing a half-filled campaign rally in Maiduguri, the capital and the largest city in Borno, the Nigerian President denied rumors about sponsoring the insurgency in the northeastern part of his country.
“I feel very sad when some people say the President uses insecurity in Borno for political reasons,” Jonathan said. “No President anywhere in the world will do this,” he added.
In April of 2014, Boko Haram, which claims to want to apply Islamic law in Nigeria, kidnapped up to 250 girls from a school in Chibok, sending shockwaves not only across Nigeria, but also across the whole world.
On Saturday, major roads were closed down to ordinary people and vehicles in Maiduguri in preparation for the President’s visit.
Over 1,000 troops arrived in the area hours before Jonathan arrived, according to a security source.
He told The Anadolu Agency that additional troops were also deployed to ward off possible attacks on the President’s campaign team.
A few days ago, Jonathan’s motorcade was pelted with stones by angry youths in northwestern Katsina and northeastern Bauchi states.
In Maiduguri, heavily armed and well-kitted soldiers and new military armored tanks were placed in strategic locations in the city.
The Nigerian President was scheduled to visit Chibok in early May of 2014, but his visit was cancelled out.
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