President Goodluck Jonathan, on behalf of the Nigerian government and people, has extended his condolences to the French President, Francois Hollande, and the people of France over Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Paris.
In a statement by the President’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, Mr. Jonathan said, “The cowardly and ignoble attack by violent extremists is a monstrous assault on the right to freedom of expression.”
Twelve people were killed by masked gunmen at the offices of a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The dead included two police officers.
Mr. Jonathan said the attack on Charlie Hebdo was as another manifestation of the depravity and brutality which the world has to contend with, and called for a truly collective effort by lovers of peace, progress and freedom across the globe “to rout the agents of darkness and retrogression.”
“Mr. Jonathan assured Mr. Hollande and the people of France that Nigeria stands in full solidarity with them on this day of national mourning for those who lost their lives at the hands of terrorists in Paris yesterday,” the statement said.
Noting that France has been a strong ally and dependable partner in strengthening regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa as a whole, President Jonathan pledged that his administration would continue to work with the French government and other friendly governments in all continents to end the scourge of global terrorism.
He urged media practitioners worldwide not to be discouraged or disheartened by the brutal murder of their colleagues in Paris but to remain strong and fearless in the pursuit of truth and the defence of human rights and freedom of expression.
Mr. Jonathan prayed God to comfort the people of France, especially the bereaved families and grant speedy recovery to all those who were injured in yesterday’s attack.