Nigeria's Jonathan seeks re-election

LAGOS - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has confirmed he will run again in February's elections, his office has said.

Until now he had refused to confirm his candidacy for re-election as president.

The announcement comes as he faces mounting criticism over his handling of the Boko Haram insurgency and its abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls.

The militants are reported to have seized control of the north-eastern town of Mubi.

The government announced a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram earlier this month that was supposed to lead to the release of the schoolgirls. Thousands of people have fled from the rebels' north-eastern stronghold throughout the course of the conflict.

Local residents told the BBC the militants had raised their flag over Mubi and blocked the main access roads.

Earlier there were reports of heavy gunfire and military fighter jets overhead. Mubi is a commercial hub and the second largest town in Adamawa state.

Residents of the town began to flee following reports that the militants were approaching - soldiers were also reported to have fled.

"There is virtually not a single resident left in Mubi. Everybody has left to save their lives," local resident Habu Saidu told the AFP news agency as he made his way through the bush.

"People in thousands left the town on foot because all roads have been blocked by soldiers and it is not possible to leave by road."

Mubi has in the past witnessed violence attributed to militant Islamist group.

The Nigerian government says it has been talking to Boko Haram in neighbouring Chad with both parties agreeing on a ceasefire.

But even after the announcement was made over a week ago, the clashes continued - raising questions about the validity of the truce.

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