Boko Haram will bomb me if they can- Jonathan

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Ihuoma Chiedozie

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said Boko Haram, the insurgent Islamic sect, which claimed responsibility for Thursday’s bomb blast at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, would bomb him (Jonathan) if they could.

The President spoke to journalists after inspecting the scene of the bombing, which claimed eight lives, including that of the bomb bearer and a traffic warden directing him to park his car.

Reacting to reports that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, was the target of the bomb blast, Jonathan said that all Nigerians were targets of the terrorists, noting that Boko Haram would even “bomb the President of the country if they could.”

Jonathan pointed out that in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, the Al-Qaeda terrorists planned to crash an aircraft into the White House.

Asked to react to indications that the IG was the target of the bombing, Jonathan said, “No, it is not just the IG, everybody is a target of terrorist attacks.

“I don’t want to make reference to what happened in the United States that they were to crash a plane into the White House.

“So, terrorists will aim at the top; if they can bomb the President, they will do it.”

He commiserated with all those who lost lives and property.

Jonathan said, “First and foremost, let me commiserate with those people who lost their lives and properties.”

“Some vehicles were burnt and some people must have been victims of the explosion.”

He noted that terrorism was not limited to Nigeria, although he admitted that there had been an escalation of terror acts in the country in recent times.

He assured that the trend would be reversed “soon.”

He said, “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that it happens all over the world, no country is free.”

“Nigeria is also having some ugly incidents lately, but surely we will get over it and people should not panic at all; soon, most of these things will be a thing of the past.”

Jonathan visited the Police Force Headquarters in company with his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, and the former Senior Special Assistant on Research and Documentation, Mr. Oronto Douglas.

Thursday’s blast, which was apparently carried out by a lone suicide bomber and was probably targeted at Ringim, was the third major one since the October 1, 2010 blasts shattered Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary.

Thirteen people died in those attacks.

On New Year’s Eve, another set of bomb attacks occurred at the Mogadishu Baracks Mammy Market, killing four people and injuring many others.

Another bomb exploded on May 29, 2011 at Zuba, an Abuja suburb, shortly after the inauguration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Nobody died in the explosion, but many people sustained injuries.

Bomb explosions have been occurring at a faster rate in the country in the past two years, with the northern cities of Jos, Maiduguri, Bauchi and Kaduna the hardest hit.

Although the explosions in Jos have ceased of late, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has witnessed constant terror attacks since the beginning of 2011.

The explosions, most of which are believed to be the handiwork of the Boko Haram, intensified shortly before the 2011 general elections.

Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks, is waging a war against the Federal Government over its belief that Western education is an abomination.

Boko Haram is also aiming to impose Islamic rule in Africa’s most populous nation, saying it won’t retreat until it has achieved this through a Jihad.


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