the olive branch to
members of the Boko
Haram sect that have
killed about 13,000
Nigerians since they started their campaign of violence in
parts of the country.
He said his administration was ready to listen to those who
have genuine grievances with a view to restoring peace to
Jonathan made the Federal Government’s position known in
his 54th Independence Day broadcast to the nation.
Hours before the broadcast, the sect members kidnapped
no fewer than 35 fleeing people, including a woman and her
twins, in Gwoza, Borno State.
The President regretted that despite the many
accomplishments of his administration, Nigeria was still in a
He attributed the mood of the nation to the activities of
members of the sect whom, he said, had done the
unimaginable to challenge the nation’s unity.
Jonathan said, “In my address to the nation last year, I did
emphasise that we were in a sober moment in our country.
We are still in that mood in spite of the many
accomplishments of our administration.
“Our sombreness has to do with the crises of nationhood
occasioned by the activities of terrorist elements who have
done the unimaginable to challenge our unity as a people.”
He insisted that despite the war members of the sect were
unleashing on the nation, they would not succeed in
breaking up the country.
Jonathan said activities of the sect had further made it clear
to anyone who was ever in doubt that terrorists did not
mean well for anyone.
He described their persistent choice of the weakest and
most vulnerable in society for attacks as an insight into
their abnormal mindset.
The President urged all Nigerians to put aside political,
sectional or other parochial considerations, and support the
efforts of the government and the military in checking
insurgency in the country.
His administration , he said, was “ committed to making
Nigeria safe for all Nigerians, irrespective of our places of
birth, how we worship God and our political persuasion.”
Jonathan added, “To all those waging war against our
country, I ask that you lay down your arms and embrace
“To those who have genuine grievances, I affirm that Nigeria
will listen to you, if you bring your grievances to the table of
“To the good people of Nigeria, let me restate that our task
of building a better and greater country must not waver.”
The President again promised to implement the report of
the 2014 National Conference which he described as the
biggest centenary gift to the country.
While admitting that the nation’s 54 year-journey had not
been easy, he said the Nigerian spirit and resilience had
seen the nation through.
“We will continue to march forward to greater heights,” he
He took time to highlight some of the achievements of his
administration in the past years and promised to redouble
his efforts at nation-building.
Ahead of the 2015 elections, Jonathan urged politicians to
know that the contest should not translate into the
destruction of the country.
He said, “The contest for the leadership of our country must
yield good governance, and not ungovernable spaces. The
love of country should rank higher than our individual
“We must remain committed to a united and indivisible
Nigeria within democratic parameters. The protection of
individual rights, liberty, equality before the law, freedom of
thought, and a progressive pursuit of a sound economy
must be our goal.
“As we look forward to another year in our national life, I am
more than confident that our tomorrow will be better than
our yesterday and today. Nigeria has got the human and
material resources to excel, and we shall lead the way in
that journey to our manifest destiny.
“Fellow countrymen, brothers and sisters, in all our plans,
and in all our words and our actions, we must stand
together in love and unity, as one people under God.
“We are one people from the womb of one Nigeria. We are
brothers and sisters. We are one family. We are Nigerians.”
B’ Haram kidnaps twins in Gwoza
Just hours before Jonathan spoke, insurgents kidnapped a
set of twins, their mother and 32 other people at Gwoza hill
where they had run to after being displaced.
The Executive Chairman of Stefanos Foundation, Mr. Mark
Lipdo, who made this known, said the incident took place on
He quoted sources as also saying that three of those
kidnapped died in the hands of their abductors.
Lipdo gave the names of the twins’ mother as Maryamu
Emmanuel and two of the three dead persons as Tada
Lahupara and Yohanna Kitha.