President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday expressed optimism that with the global efforts to find and rescue the over 200 girls abducted from their school by Boko Haram insurgents, was a signal that an end to the reign of terror in Nigeria had begun.
Jonathan, who once again promised that the girls would be rescued, spoke at the opening session of the ongoing World Economic Forum for Africa in Abuja.
He thanked the foreign nations including , the United States, Britain, France and China for their support in trying to find and rescue the girls .
The President also lauded the delegates for coming to Nigeria despite the danger posed by militants, saying their presence was a big blow to terrorists.
Jonathan said, “Let me use this unique opportunity to appreciate all the countries that have expressed their commitment, especially in terms of rescuing these girls that disappeared in one of our secondary schools.
“The government of China promised assistance and I believe that assistance will come almost immediately. The government of the US, the UK and France have also spoken with me and expressed their commitments towards resolving this crisis in Nigeria.
“I believe that the kidnapping of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria.”
The President observed that if the participants had decided not no attend because of the negative news coming from the country, the terrorists would have jubilated and be further emboldened to carry out more attacks.
He said, “Nigeria is proud to host this event for the first time the conference is coming to West Africa. Let me use this unique opportunity to appreciate you for accepting to come. As a nation we are facing attacks of terrorists.
“Let me appreciate you individually and collectively for your support for us, your sentiments and by your presence here in Nigeria at this time. You have already supported us to win the war on terror.
“If you had refused to come because of fear, the terrorists would have jubilated and even committed more havoc. But your coming here to support us morally is a major blow to terrorists.”
During another session of the event tagged, “Unlocking job-creating growth,” where he served as a panelist, Jonathan identified one of the greatest challenges currently facing Nigeria as insecurity , especially in the North-East.
He said though Nigeria did not expect terror, his administration was working hard to build capacity and put the situation under control.
Jonathan said although it was impossible to give a timeline on when peace would be restored, there was hope for the country.
The President disclosed that he recently gave an approval for $1bn to be spent on the purchase of some equipment needed to fight terror war.
He said, “The first time a Nigerian was involved in terror was in December 2009 when a young Nigerian who grew up abroad wanted to bring down a plane that was going to the US.
“The reaction of Nigerians then was that that was strange; that it was because he grew up outside the country and came from a very wealthy family. So, it was not an issue of poverty but an issue of extremism.
“We never knew that we were really moving into crisis. It is a phenomenon that was never part of our problems.
“So it takes time for you to train the people; it takes time for you to build the security architecture and that is what we are improving on every day.
“Not too long ago, I gave an approval of over $1bn for us to acquire what we require. That is just not enough but that is just an example and it is of recent.
“I can guarantee that we shall bring this(terrorism) under control. Yes, it is difficult for any nation to say that it has the magic to wipe away issues of security challenges otherwise , a place like the US ,with the money and technology, people wouldn’t have been shot there as we hear every time.
“No one President can say yes, in a year or in a month there will be absolute peace but we are working hard. We are training our people and we are building capacity. And of course, we are getting assistance from other places that have experienced terror attacks.