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Jonathan says Boko Haram wanted him to dump Christianity for Islam

He said the group uses Islam to achieve their own personal and group goals which he described as heinous and political.

Dr Goodluck Jonathan

The 61-year-old made this disclosure in his new book, titled "My Transition Hours", which he launched on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

He said the group used Islam to achieve their own personal and group goals which he described as "not only heinous and dastardly but also political".

"At this juncture, it may be prudent to state that one of their demands was that I abandon my Christian faith and accept Islam. In other words, they wanted a Muslim President for Nigeria amongst others," he wrote.

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While he never specified when this demand was made, he wrote about it in the fourth chapter of the book titled "The Chibok School Girls Affair" where he wrote about the events surrounding the kidnapping of 278 girls from Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.

While further describing the activities of Boko Haram during his tenure, Jonathan said the group is well-funded by wealthy individuals who "wholly or in part support their Jihadi intentions".

Jonathan's loss in the 2015 presidential election is partly blamed on his inability to properly deal with the terrorist group, a situation made worse by the abduction of the Chibok Girls which gained global attention.

Nigeria is home to an estimated 6,900 terrorist fighters, report indicates

Since Boko Haram's insurgency escalated in 2009, the group has killed tens of thousands of Nigerians as well as displaced millions who are scattered in internally displaced person's camps.

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Even though President Muhammadu Buhari declared in 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated, the group has carried out several deadly attacks since then, with an increase in the number of attacks on troops happening in 2018.

According to a report by a United States-based think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nigeria belongs in the group of countries experiencing a significantly high amount of violence due to terrorist activities, most notably from Boko Haram and its faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The report constructed a data set of terrorist groups and fighters from 1980 to 2018 and estimated Nigeria's number of terrorist fighters to be between 3,450 and 6,900.

The report noted that most countries, including Nigeria, who are most impacted by terrorist activities are at or near the bottom 10% of countries worldwide in terms of government effectiveness.

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"Most are also in the bottom 10% of countries worldwide in other governance indicators, such as control of corruption," the report read.

The report concluded that poor governance indicators make it difficult to be confident that terrorism and insurgency will end in the foreseeable future.

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