Abuja: President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday
vowed to provide full security to Nigerians as the country
marked 51 years of independence amid a wave of attacks blamed
on Islamist radicals.
"We will secure the safety of our citizens for only when
we do this will be able to build the needed peace and
tranquillity in all parts of the federation," Jonathan said in
in a televised broadcast.
"I have put in place a new and reinvigorated national
security strategy to combat the threat to our safety. The
current incidents of violence and terror, in parts of the
country, will surely be overcome," Jonathan said.
"My administration will spare no effort in fighting
crime, building peace, and securing our homeland against
internal threats and infiltration by violent groups from
outside our borders," he said.
The speech aired as massive security was deployed in the
capital Abuja in a bid to stop fresh attacks by Islamist sect
Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for last month`s
deadly bombing of UN headquarters here.
Nigeria today organised low-key events to mark 51 years
of independence from Britain.
A ceremony at Aso Rock presidential villa was attended by
the President and foreign diplomats, including India`s High
Commissioner to the oil rich African country Mahesh Sachdev.
Security was very tight and number of guests was
During last year`s independence day events, twin car
bombs went off near Eagle Square, the venue where Nigerian
officials and foreign dignitaries, including India`s Corporate
Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had gathered, killing at
least 14 people.
Since the 50th anniversary bombing, similar attacks have
been witnessed in the country with the latest being a suicide
bombing at the United Nations headquarters in the country?s
capital Abuja on August 16 which led to the death of 23
Last year`s independence anniversary bombing was
claimed by a militant group fighting for resource control in
the oil rich region of the country, Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) while a radical Islamic
sect, Boko Haram said it carried out the UN headquarters
Though MEND has boasted it would bomb the capital again
this year, it has not carried out further attacks since most
of its alleged leaders were arrested after their last attack
and put on trial.
Nigeria achieved independence in 1960 from Britain but
military intervened frequently in its politics, a phenomenon
which encouraged corruption as the soldiers were accountable
The endemic corruption delayed infrastructural
development and economic growth. The country returned to
democracy in 1999.
Experts say the economy is growing at 7.8 per cent in the
country of 150 million people and Jonathan has promised to
keep the rate at 8 per cent in the medium term.