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President Goodluck: Nigeria will beat Boko Haram in a month

DETERMINED: Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK Jonathan says he's "hopeful" Nigeria will take back all the land from Islamist extremist group Boko Haram within a month.

"They are getting weaker and weaker by the day," he told the BBC a week ahead of postponed elections in the country.

Though the army has claimed recent victories over Boko Haram in a conflict that has killed thousands since 2012, Jonathan did admit that the response to the insurgents in north-east Nigeria had been too slow.

"We never expected that [Boko Haram] will build up that kind of capacity. We under-rated their external influence. Since after the civil war we've not fought any war, we don't manufacture weapons, so we had to look for help to re-equip our army and the air force," he said.

Backed by neighbouring countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon, Nigeria's military says it has recaptured 11 of the 14 districts, which had been under militant control.

However, Boko Haram attacked the town of Ngala, killing 11 people, after the army said it had retaken it yesterday (March 19).

Despite mounting criticism in his handling of the extremist group and locating the 219 schoolgirls abducted from the village of Chibok last year, he is confident he will win the election.

“I will surely win it… My party is still the strongest party," he said.

February's elections were postponed by six weeks after the armed forces said they needed more time to secure the country.

His main opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, has described the 16-year rule of Mr Jonathan's party as "a disaster for the country and its citizens".

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