`Nigeria needs new anti-terrorism tactics’

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has sacked his defence minister and national security adviser.

Updated: Jun 25, 2012, 12:30 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Abuja: Two days after sacking his defence minister and national security adviser, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said his government needed new anti-terrorism tactics.

Jonathan and his security chiefs have come under heightened criticism for improper handling of the insurgency by Boko Haram.

"We think some new persons have to come in to change tactics in our fight against terrorism.... It`s not that they were not working but just that we need to change tactics," Jonathan told reporters.

Boko Haram, which is based in the remote northeast, has rapidly overtaken militants in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta as the country`s biggest security threat.

Niger Delta militants gave up arms in return for training and stipends in a 2009 amnesty but brief efforts to hold a dialogue with Boko Haram earlier this year failed.

"Boko Haram has no face and government will not dialogue with a faceless people. They must come out and tell us why they are doing what they are doing," said Jonathan.

Gun and bomb attacks blamed on Boko Haram have killed hundreds since the movement started its uprising more than two years ago.

The sect, notably, has threatened to turn the oil rich African country into a Muslim caliphate.

(With Agency inputs)