President Goodluck Jonathan has given assurance that the North-eastern town of Gwoza in Borno state, the last town under the Boko Haram terrorists, would be liberated by Friday.
According to the President, the effort would pave the way for a successful conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the state and across the federation.
President Jonathan, gave the assurance when he received four International Election Monitoring Groups at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The observers were from the African Union Group led by former Liberian President, Dr. Amos Sawyer, the Commonwealth Group led by Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the former Malawian leader, the European Union group led by Anna Roberts and a group from the Republican Institute.
President Jonathan told the observers that already the Nigerian soldiers had successfully liberated Adamawa and Yobe states from the menace of insurgency and that the military command had assured him that Gwoza will not only be recaptured but Sambisa forest in the state will be Boko Haram-free in the next weeks.
He said already soldiers had intensified efforts to drive out the terrorists from the forest.
“We cleaned up Adamawa completely, we cleaned up Yobe completely and even Borno state, before the election, election is two days away. But, before the elections you will see that only one little area, the Sambisa forest in Borno state will be in the hands of Boko Haram.” He stated.
“We believe by tomorrow latest Friday, we will be able to take over Gwoza. If we take over Gwoza it will not take us more than one week to clean up the whole remaining part. For now they are not in the position to come out and disrupt elections. We are very hopeful that when we conduct elections on March 28, elections will be conducted across the country.” President Jonathan stressed.
Free, fair & peaceful polls
The President reaffirmed his conviction that the coming elections would not generate the type of violence that followed the 2011 elections.
He, therefore, pledged to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in a peaceful atmosphere.
The international observers in their separate remarks stressed the need for free, fair and peaceful conduct of the March 28 and April 11 general election.