Strikes on Boko Haram revealed on eve of Nigerian election

Mr Jonathan said no political ambition could justify violence or bloodshed

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The Independent Online

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned against violence ahead of today’s presidential election as people stockpile food, cash and fuel in fear of clashes.

In a broadcast to the nation yesterday, Mr Jonathan, whose main rival is former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, said no political ambition could justify violence or bloodshed.

He added that security agencies were ready to deal with anyone who tried to disrupt the conduct of the elections or cause public disorder.

Separately, the Nigerian army said that its troops had captured the north-east town of Gwoza, destroying the headquarters of Boko Haram – whose insurgency had contributed to the postponement of the elections for six weeks.


The fight against Boko Haram, and the security threat it poses, has been a central issue in the election, with Mr Jonathan claiming in his speech that the army had contained the Islamist militants in the north-east. “Concerted and well-co-ordinated land and air operations have liberated Gwoza, the headquarters of their so-called caliphate,” the army said, adding that arms and ammunition were recovered and Boko Haram’s administrative centre was destroyed.

It said Nigerian troops had taken over enclaves and hideouts from the militants, who were fleeing towards border areas.