Boko Haram: Jonathan, Military Chiefs in secret visit to Maiduguri

President Goodluck Jonathan at a Presidential rally

President Goodluck Jonathan and his military chiefs on Thursday undertook an unexpected visit to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The president and the military high command left for Borno State, the hot bed of Boko Haram insurgency, after attending the Armed Forces Remembrance in Abuja.

A source who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the visit, said Mr. Jonathan and the service chiefs will meet with troops in the north east state.

“The president and the service chiefs left for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport shortly after the ceremony at the National Arcade,” said the source.

“They will be meeting with troops and some community leaders before coming back to Abuja later in the day.”
Boko Haram has killed over 13, 000 Nigerians since 2009 and has seized dozens of towns and villages in Northeast Nigeria.

Mr. Jonathan has come under severe criticisms over the handling of the fight against the group. The president has also been criticised for not meeting with troops who complain of poor equipment and funding for the war.
Boko Haram recently seized Baga, a town in Borno State after sacking the military base there. Amnesty International said the group killed 2,000 residents.

The Nigerian military said only 150 people were killed.

Earlier, at the Remembrance Day parade at the National Arcade, Abuja, Mr. Jonathan had led leaders of Nigeria’s legislature, the judiciary, military and para-military groups to lay wreath in honour of the fallen soldiers.

The president thereafter released white pigeons, signifying freedom, unity, peace and harmony of the country and also signed the register.

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