Opinion

Nigerian president: We will not stop until the missing schoolgirls are returned home

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan maintained that his silence over the disappearance of schoolgirls in his country was to protect the rescue mission and promised that Nigeria “will not stop until the girls are returned home and the thugs who took them are brought to justice.”

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Jonathan said he was “deeply concerned” that by not giving updates on the ongoing search for the missing girls -- who were abducted by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in mid-April -- his administration was seen as weak or inactive.

“My silence has been necessary to avoid compromising the details of our investigation,” Jonathan said. “But let me state this unequivocally: My government and our security and intelligence services have spared no resources, have not stopped and will not stop until the girls are returned home and the thugs who took them are brought to justice.”

Jonathan went on to say that, as a parent, he can imagine how heart-wrenching it must be to lose a child.

“My heart aches for the missing children and their families. I am a parent myself, and I know how awfully this must hurt,” Jonathan said. “Nothing is more important to me than finding and rescuing our girls.”

Jonathan said he would ask the U.N. in September for help with sharing information and possibly military assistance to fight back against Boko Haram.

Jonathan's op-ed comes as terrorist regimes are growing not just in Nigeria but across the Middle East. In Iraq, for example, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is terrorizing the nation's people with violence, having been gathering weapons and finances since President Obama announced the troop withdrawal three years ago.

“Something positive can come out of the situation in Nigeria: most important, the return of the Chibok girls, but also new international cooperation to deny havens to terrorists and destroy their organizations wherever they are — whether in the forests of Nigeria, on the streets of New York or sanctuaries in Iraq or Pakistan,” Jonathan said. “Those who value humanity, civilization and the innocence of children can do no less.”

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