Lagos — Nigeria marks 53 years of independence with scores of families in mourning over killings by extremists, heightened security against feared bomb attacks and students planning protests over universities shut for 10 months by striking lecturers.
President Goodluck Jonathan condoled families of victims in an address to the nation Tuesday and vowed to spare no cost "in the quest to enable our people live without fear."
Militants continue to terrorize the northeast despite a massive military campaign including aerial bombardments. More than 40 students were gunned down Sunday and 10 travelers were beheaded on a main road Monday.
The extremist uprising poses the biggest security threat in years to Nigeria where Jonathan noted "Our people are divided ... ethnically, religiously, politically, and materially."