BY EMEKA MAMAH
LAGOS— President Goodluck Jonathan assured yesterday that his government will end the menace of Islamic sect, Boko Haram in some areas of the north by the middle of the year. He said the nation’s security forces will take total control of the situation.
Jonathan who spoke in an interview with the South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency while attending a two-day summit on peaceful use of nuclear energy, with about 51 other world leaders in Seoul, also gave an insight into the problems faced by the Federal Government in 2010 when his predecessor, late President Umoru Musa Yar’Adua was ill in far away Saudi Arabia without formally handing over the reigns of government to him as the then Vice President.
Speaking on the current security challenges facing the country following the Boko Haram Islamic sect’s bombing canpaign in some parts of Nigeria, President Jonathan said, the problem was limited to certain areas in the country, assuring the international community that the problem would be seriously curtailed as the nation’s security forces would take total control of the situation by the middle of this year.
“In terms of security challenges, we have some parts of the country where we have terrorist attacks, but it does not affect the whole country. We are in reasonable control. We have the belief that in the middle of this year; in terms of security of individuals, we will have full control. The danger is limited to some parts of the country. It does not extend to other parts of country,” he further said.
President Jonathan also said during the interview that there were fears of military coup when late President Yar’Adua fell ill and did not formally hand over power to him, (Jonathan) as the then vice president. He said there were fears of a poosible coup as the country wobbled during the uncertainty surrounding the health condition of his predecessor.
He however said that military coup could not have occured because the country was politically stable.
“I was the President during the transition (period). Before I took over, I was vice president. The President (Yar’Adua) was very ill and people thought there would be military intervention. Today, we conducted election. Politically, we are stable,” he said.
Assuring potential investors of a conducive environment to do business in Nigeria, President Jonathan appealed to South Korean companies to invest in Nigeria because of her huge economic potentials.
According to Jonathan, “other areas and the public sector have been opened up. Agriculture, in terms of production of raw materials; and other sectors have been opened up. Not just in private airlines but airports, terminal buildings and other sectors.
“Oil sector had been opened up from the beginning. We have very few chemical companies. It is an area these (Korean) companies can invest. Before 2002, telecommunication was a monopoly. Telecommunication has been opened up to other countries. More Korean companies can invest in all aspects of telecommunication.
“There is one key area that I want to emphasize. Nigeria is a very green area for investors. Before this time, during the military rule, you do not know who would be the next president. When a new government came, there were new policies and those policies were not attractive to investors.
“Basically from 1999 to date, we have established democratic government. For investors, Nigeria has strong laws and media. No president can just change laws that can affect investors especially. We encourage investors”. He pointed out that he specifically preferred the Korean investors to focus attention on the power sector.
“I want investment in power sector. For now, we are quite low. We want South Korean investors.”