Jonathan Denies Rejecting British Offer to Rescue Chibok Girls
A former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan has denied rejecting Britain’s offer to rescue Chibok girls shortly after they were abducted by terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Jonathan was the subject of intense mockery from a section of Nigerian social media users after the Observer of London published a report alleging that newly discovered correspondences between the former Nigerian president and some diplomats showed that Jonathan turned down Britain’s offer to rescue Chibok girls with its military operatives.
Over 200 girls were kidnapped at gunpoint from their dormitory at the Chibok secondary school in Borno state in April 2014. A lucky few escaped immediately after the abduction while a handful managed to find their way out of captivity later.
In October 2016, negotiations between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group resulted in the release of 21 Chibok girls while the rest are still being held and would have spent 3 years in captivity by April 14, 2017 should the government fail to secure their release before then.
Jonathan in a statement late on Sunday through his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said the claims first published by the London Observer and circulated by Nigerian media outfits were untrue.
The statement said ex-President Jonathan initiated multinational efforts and collaborations which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with Nigerian security operatives to attempt rescuing the kidnapped girls.
“In fact, the Jonathan administration was so genuinely supportive that the foreign powers involved were granted permission to overfly our airspace, while conducting the search and rescue missions,” he said.
“We would wish to recall that this collaboration was made possible following letters personally written by former president Jonathan to Barack Obama, former president of the United States; Francois Hollande, president of France, David Cameron, former British prime minister, as well as personal contacts made to the Governments of Israel and China, seeking their assistance in the search for the abducted Chibok girls,” the statement said.
PM News reports that Jonathan further attributed the “concocted story” about rejecting Britain’s offer to rescue Chibok girls to people “who have been playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls”.
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