Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has described as a blow to terrorism the attendance of African leaders and others at the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) holding in the nation’s capital, Abuja, despite threats posed by the terror group Boko Haram.
”Nigeria is proud to host this event, the first time the Forum is coming to West Africa. We wish you a fruitful conference and a productive stay in our beautiful capital, Abuja,” PANA quoted President Jonathan as saying in his speech at the first plenary of the WEF Thursday.
”Let me thank all of you for coming to Nigeria at this trying time when we are facing terrorist attacks. Your coming here to support us is a blow on the terrorists,” he said.
In the run-up to the forum, Boko Haram carried out two bomb attacks on a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, killing a total of 95 people and injuring hundreds more, in an apparent attempt to portray the inland capital city as unsafe to host such a high profile event.
The sect also abducted over 200 girls in the northern state of Borno and threatened to sell them, a development that has overshadowed the forum and pushed Britain, China, France and US, among others, to offer assistance to Nigeria to rescue the girls.
In his speech, President Jonathan thanked the countries that have ”expressed commitment to help us rescue the abducted girls”, specifically mentioning British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
”We appreciate their commitment to help us put an end to the crisis,” he said.