ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with security, school and state officials and ordered that “everything must be done” to free the 276 girls held captive by Islamic extremists, one of his advisers said Sunday amid growing national outrage at the government’s response to the abduction.
Jonathan said in a televised “media chat” Sunday night that he believes Nigeria is winning its war against an Islamic uprising.
Two bomb blasts in three weeks that have killed about 100 people and injured more than 200 in the capital, Abuja, “does not mean the situation is worsening,” Jonathan said.
“I believe we are succeeding,” he said, though the death tolls tell a different story.
More than 1,500 people have died in the insurgency this year, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013. Both of the Abuja blasts are blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist network.
Jonathan said he has been asking for and getting help from the United States but that President Barack Obama has expressed concern to him about allegations of gross human rights abuses by security forces accused of summary executions and the killings in detention of thousands of people.
“I said, ‘Send someone to see what we are doing and assist us, give us equipment that will help us, because we need sophisticated (equipment), don’t just say there is some matter of alleged abuses,” Jonathan said, describing one of two conversations with the U.S. leader.