United States president, Mr. Barrack Obama on Monday said that he was optimistic that attacks from the Boko Haram Sect would not disrupt a peaceful conduct of the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
Obama, who spoke through Ms. Jen Psaki, one of his spokespersons in Washington, DC, also said that the federal government should ensure that it was not discouraged or prevented from carrying out credible and peaceful elections that would reflect the will of the Nigerian people in February even in the face of all the terrible attacks from Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations.
The US leader pressed further that his country’s cooperation with Nigeria on a broad range of issues, including security issues, was part of a recent dialogue that the Secretary of States, Mr. John Kerry, had with President Goodluck Jonathan at the tail end of last year.
He also said that the US remained committed to supporting Nigeria as it addresses the violence caused by Boko Haram, stressing that his country certainly still have a presence on the ground. “An interdisciplinary team that we’ve had on the ground for some time as well,” he noted.
On the accusation that his government was not providing enough supports for Nigeria, Psaki said: “I can’t speak to what their specific requests are. I can convey that we continue to provide a range of assistance to Nigeria. We remain committed to our counter-terrorism relationship and our strategic relationship in that regard, and that we are – remain in close contact, as is evidenced by the Secretary’s calls with the president.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations Refugee Agency has reported that the number of Nigerian refugees seeking safety in Chad had almost quadrupled over the past 10 days after attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in northeastern Nigeria uprooted thousands.
The agency also said that attacks in Borno state had uprooted about 7,300 Nigerians, forcing them into western Chad, where most are staying with local communities in villages around 450 kilometres north-west of the capital, N’Djamena.
It continued that the 3 January attack on the town of Baga alone caused 3,400 people to flee to Chad, adding that: “The Government of Chad has requested international assistance. The Chadian Government has sent a mission and a medical team to the areas and is providing food assistance and other basic supplies.”