The president stated this in Abuja on Monday when he declared open an International seminar on the Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal Security Operations.
The seminar, held at the National Defence College, was co-hosted by the Offices of the Attorney-General of the Federation (A-GF) and the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Jonathan called on members of the sect to lay down their arms and table their grievances, if any, before government.
He, however, clarified that while waiting for the response from the sect, the military operations in the troubled areas would continue to safeguard lives and property.
“Our administration has committed tremendous resources and adopted several approaches to prosecuting the fight against terror in Nigeria.
“The declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states is one of the measures taken to contain the activities of the terrorists.
“The National Committee on Peace and Dialogue in the Northern parts of the country was constituted to explore ways of dialoguing with the Boko Haram sect with a view to addressing their grievances, if any.
“I wish to use this platform to renew my previous call to members of the sect to lay down their arms and engage government in a constructive manner in order to address their grievances, if truly they have any reason to do what they are doing.
“However, while we are awaiting a positive response from the Boko Haram sect, it is important to note that government has the responsibility to protect the lives and property of our citizens.
“No efforts will be spared by this administration in discharging that responsibility.’’
The president commended the organisers of the seminar with the theme “Engendering Greater Understanding of the Legal Underpinning of Internal Security Operations’’.