Nigerian leaders unite against Boko Haram

ABUJA, (Reuters) – Leaders from across Nigeria appealed for a united front against Boko Haram yesterday, saying the Islamist insurgents were waging war on Christian and Muslim Nigerians alike.

President Goodluck Jonathan held a security meeting with governors of 36 states straddling Nigeria’s largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north to seek ways of ending the Islamists’ five-year-old insurgency.

“We agreed that the Boko Haram war is not a religious war and therefore it’s a war against all Nigerians and should be treated as such,” a statement said after the meeting.

The insurgents abducted 230 schoolgirls on April 14 and most are still missing. On the same day, a bomb in a bus station on the edge of the capital Abuja killed 75 people, an attack for which Boko Haram claimed responsibility. The two attacks showed the inability of the Nigerian security forces to protect civilians against Boko Haram, seen as the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer.

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