Nigerian president to tour hotspots after kidnappings and clashes
March 5, 2018 | 4:32 PM
by Reuters
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari inspects the guard of honour during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Abuja, Nigeria January 15, 2018. Photo - Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde/File

Lagos: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will visit the state where 110 schoolgirls were abducted by suspected militants last month, his office said, one of a series of security incidents that has cast a shadow over his term.

The 75-year-old former military ruler will tour other security hotspots from Monday onwards, the presidency said in a tweet, including areas that have seen clashes between rival groups and what it called criminal activity.

Buhari came to power in 2015, promising to tackle Boko Haram militants in the northeast and chronic instability across a country split roughly between a Muslim north and a Christian south and encompassing about 250 ethnic groups.

The extremists have lost most of their territory in the face of an offensive by Nigeria's army backed by troops from neighbouring countries. But attacks have continued and the mass abduction on February 19 in the northeastern state of Yobe was a major setback.

"The president has decided to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the various occurrences and to meet & console the communities affected," the presidency said. It did no say whether he would visit the town of Dapchi, where the girls were taken from their school, the most high profile mass kidnapping since Boko Haram took about 270 girls from the town of Chibok in 2014.

He is also scheduled to visit Taraba and Benue states - the scene of recent clashes between semi-nomadic herdsmen and farmers over grazing rights - and Rivers States, part of the oil-producing Niger Delta, where bandit attacks and kidnappings for ransom have been reported.

The presidency did not give specific dates for each visit.

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