President Goodluck Jonathan has denied allegation of extrajudicial killing of innocent citizens by security operatives in the process of hunting down insurgents in the country.
Jonathan denied the allegation in an interview on Wednesday night on CNN, anchored by Christiane Amanpour, a renowned journalist.
He said, “The United States of America is completely wrong,” he told Amanpour. “No security agency arrests anybody just for the love of arrest. We have intelligence that enables us to arrest the people who have been arrested.”
Jonathan said that the negative reports about Nigeria that were available to the American government were based on misinformation by certain NGOs and some other groups.
He agreed that Boko Haram could pose an existential threat to Africa.
“If Boko Haram is not contained, it would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa, Central Africa and of course to North Africa,” he said. “Elements of Boko Haram link up with some of al Qaeda in northern Mali and other North African countries.”
Jonathan admitted that initially Boko Haram caught Nigeria off guard; now, he said, the country has been making progress to contain “the Boko Haram saga.”
He said that the U.S. should use its own means of gathering information to know the truth.
He said his government is “totally committed” to working with friendly nations to help contain problems in Mali.
Jonathan said the problem there has been exacerbated by the free flow of weapons out of Libya since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.
He said his government was working day and night to make sure that the deadly attacks on an Algerian oil field do not happen in Nigeria.
He said despite the Economist reports that the death toll from Boko Haram attacks in 2012 was 1,099 – double was it was the previous year, Jonathan said: “If you look at the last six months, incidents of killing started dropping,” insisting that the government is gaining control.
On lack of electricity, Jonathan said: “That is one area where Nigerians are quite pleased with the government – that our commitment to improve power is working.
“I promise you before the end of this year, power outages will be reasonably stable in Nigeria.”
Responding to fight against corruption, he said: “You cannot change the mindset of people by waving your hand. You must take means to make sure that you don’t create an environment where everyone will be corrupt and we are doing it very well,” Jonathan said.
He cited the previous elections as signs of success against corruption.
On corruption in the oil industry, Jonathan said: “Frankly speaking, speaking I want the international community to support Nigeria because this stolen crude is being bought by refineries abroad and they know the crude oil was stolen.”