Nigeria's president visits massacre site, as 35 killed in bombings
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan visited the scene of what is feared to be Boko Haram's worst massacre and vowed that the insurgency would soon be over.
Maiduguri (Nigeria): Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan visited the scene of what is feared to be Boko Haram's worst massacre and vowed that the insurgency would soon be over.
But the Islamists gave a fresh indication of the scale of the task, with three separate bombings in the country's religiously tense central region and restive northeast that left at least 35 people dead.
The bombings raised fears of a renewed wave of attacks against vulnerable targets in urban centres, as troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon make gains against the militants in rural areas.
Jonathan's visit to Baga yesterday, where hundreds of people, if not more, are feared to have been killed, came after his main election opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, accused him of a lack of leadership in the crisis.
The head of state, accompanied by military top brass and his national security advisor, told reporters in the Borno state capital Maiduguri after the trip that he wanted to see the devastation first hand.
"I went... To visit communities devastated by the excesses of Boko Haram," he said. "I just went to see things for myself."
Jonathan and his administration have been widely criticised for failing to stop the violence, which has seen Boko Haram seize territory in the northeast and attack neighbouring countries.
Presidential elections scheduled for February 14 were delayed for six weeks as the military said the ongoing counter-offensive meant that troops could not provide security on polling day.
But Jonathan and his government maintain that major gains will be made by the new election date, March 28, to allow voting to take place.
On Wednesday, the head of the Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah told troops in Baga after its recapture at the weekend: "The war is almost ended."