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Schoolgirls kidnap ‘beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria’: President

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram will mark a key turning point in the battle against the Islamists.

“I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria,” Jonathan told delegates at the World Economic Forum, thanking Britain, China, France and the United States for their offers of help to rescue the hostages.

The four world powers have pledged varying levels of expert help to track down the girls whose April 14 mass abduction from Chibok in northeastern Borno state has sparked global outrage.

Jonathan’s comments echoed those of US President Barack Obama earlier in the week.

Obama said the Chibok kidnappings, “may be the event that helps to mobilise the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organisation that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime.”

Jonathan had hoped that the World Economic Forum would highlight Nigeria’s economic progress and its recent emergence as Africa’s top economy, but the headlines have remained focused on Boko Haram.

The latest massacre by the Islamists killed hundreds this week in the northeastern town of Gamboru Ngala.

Jonathan thanked the more than 1,000 delegates from over 70 countries for coming to the summit in Nigeria’s capital, which has been attacked by Boko Haram with two car bombings in the last month.

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