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Goodluck Jonathan: Nothing is more important than bringing home Nigeria's missing girls

Source: pointblanknews.com

I have had to remain quiet about the continuing efforts by Nigeria's

military, police and investigators to find the girls kidnapped in April

from the town of Chibok by the terrorist group Boko Haram. I am deeply

concerned, however, that my silence as we work to accomplish the task at

hand is being misused by partisan critics to suggest inaction or even

weakness.
My silence has been necessary to avoid compromising the details of our

investigation. But let me state this unequivocally: My government and our

security and intelligence services have spared no resources, have not

stopped and will not stop until the girls are returned home and the thugs

who took them are brought to justice. On my orders, our forces have

aggressively sought these killers in the forests of northern Borno state,

where they are based. They are fully committed to defending the integrity

of their country.
My heart aches for the missing children and their families. I am a parent

myself, and I know how awfully this must hurt. Nothing is more important

to me than finding and rescuing our girls.
Since 2010, thousands of people have been killed, injured, abducted or

forced by Boko Haram, which seeks to overwhelm the country and impose its

ideology on all Nigerians. My government is determined to make that

impossible. We will not succumb to the will of terrorists.

The abduction of our children cannot be seen as an isolated event.

Terrorism knows no borders. This month, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad,

Niger, Britain and the United States established an External Intelligence

Response Unit to share security information on such threats in West

Africa. I propose that we build on this step to establish an enduring,

worldwide commitment to destroying terrorism and those who finance or give

safe haven to the terrorists.
In September, I will urge the U.N. General Assembly to establish a

U.N.-coordinated system for sharing intelligence and, if necessary,

special forces and law enforcement to confront terrorism wherever it

occurs.
In Nigeria, there are political, religious and ethnic cleavages to

overcome if we are to defeat Boko Haram. We need greater understanding and

outreach between Muslims and Christians. We also know that, as it seeks to

recruit the gullible, Boko Haram exploits the economic disparities that

remain a problem in our country. We are addressing these challenges

through such steps as bringing stakeholders together and creating a safe

schools initiative, a victims' support fund and a presidential economic

recovery program for northeastern Nigeria. We are also committed to

ridding our country of corruption and safeguarding human and civil rights

and the rule of law.
Something positive can come out of the situation in Nigeria: most

important, the return of the Chibok girls, but also new international

cooperation to deny havens to terrorists and destroy their organizations

wherever they are — whether in the forests of Nigeria, on the streets of

New York or sanctuaries in Iraq or Pakistan. Those who value humanity ,

civilization and the innocence of children can do no less.

The Washington Post