Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians to join forces against terrorism as he visited the Abuja offices of the newspaper This Day that were destroyed in a bomb attack this week.
During his visit Saturday, Mr. Jonathan said the country is pouring every possible resource to fight the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the blast. The president did not rule out the possibility of negotiating with the group.
“You see when you have a terror situation, you also look at the global best practice all over the world. Most countries passed through that, just like in war situations, you may dialogue [or] you may not dialogue, depending on the circumstances. But we will exploit every means possible.”
President Jonathan said that a terror attack on any part of Nigeria is an attack on all Nigerians and the world.
The owner of the newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, said the attack was an assault on free speech, which, he said, must be defended.
“As I have said before, what is not worth dying for is not worth living for. We will defend free speech; we will defend the constitution. We will publish the truth. No matter what, we will never surrender.”
The Islamic sect known as Boko Haram claims responsibility for Thursday’s suicide car bombing in Abuja as well for an attack on an office This Day shares with other publications in Kaduna. At least nine people were killed in the blasts.
Boko Haram issued a statement saying it would target media groups that published stories it considers to be inaccurate and biased against the sect. The group, based in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for hundreds of deaths in Nigeria this year.