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Nigeria seeks Obama's help over security issues - Jonathan

By The Citizen
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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said that his government is seeking help from US President Barack Obama to overcome the West African nation's current security challenges.

Africa's most populous nation has also approached other world powers, including France, Britain and China, for the same help, Jonathan said in a radio-television live interview in Abuja.

He did not say when exactly he opened the talks with the US president and other world leaders. Jonathan, in a Presidential Media Chart, said  'We are talking to countries we think can help us out… The United States is number one. I have talked to President Obama at least twice' regarding assisting Nigeria with its security challenges, he said.

'We will get over our (security) challenge,' he stated.

Jonathan dismissed insinuations that his government was negotiating with Boko Haram Islamist extremists, saying that it is faceless group.

'You don't negotiate with somebody you don't know… The issue of negotiation has not come up,' he said.

He assured parents of the abducted girls that they would be freed unhurt.

He added that the cooperation of the parents was, however, critical to ensure their release.

He sympathised with parents of the girls and maintained the Federal Government would on its part, do everything necessary to ensure that the girls were retuned unhurt.

'The Nigeria Government is ready and willing to do everything to ensure that this act of insurgency is brought to an end.

'What we request is the maximum cooperation of the parents of these girls, we are pleading that they should cooperate with us by releasing the identity of these girls'', he said.

He said government had combed all the communities mentioned that the girls could possibly be without any trace of them.

This, he said, had necessitated security operatives to begin to look beyond the mentioned communities.

On the possibility of the Federal Government negotiating with the suspected abductors, the President said this had not been possible because no group had taken responsibility for the abduction.

The President, however, expressed sadness over the conflicting number of the girls.

He said the security personnel were capable of fighting the insurgency, but added that there was need to increase their capacity.

He decried insurgency in the country, saying the situation could be overcome if all hands were on deck.

He reassured that the federal government would continue to do its best to ensure that the situation was brought under control.