Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said in an interview Friday he hopes to retake all territory controlled by Boko Haram within a month.
Speaking to the BBC, Jonathan admitted Nigeria’s security forces were slow to act to the terror organization’s initial advance into the northeastern part of the country.
Nigeria’s army has claimed a series of victories over the militants recently. The country’s military said the militants no longer controlled the states of Yobe or Adamawa, two of the states that got the brunt of Boko Haram’s force during its invasion.
Jonathan said authorities did not expect how powerful Boko Haram was.
“We underestimated their external influence,” Jonathan said. “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.”
Jonathan said new military equipment had helped push the militants out of towns and villages, but thought some still may lurk in the Sambisa Forest.
Jonathan also believes the 219 schoolgirls who were abducted from Chibok by Boko Haram last year were still alive.
“I believe we’ll get them,” he said.