17 May 2014

Nigeria: Why I Will Not Visit Chibok - Jonathan

Photo: Amanda Voisard/UN
President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Goodluck Jonathan has explained that it is not necessary for him to visit Chibok in Borno, as it would not lead to the release of the over 250 school girls abducted from a school there in April.

The President, who gave the explanation on Saturday at a press conference in Paris, France, said that his main interest was to locate and rescue the girls.

The President further explained that he was not averse to visiting bomb explosion sites, as he had done so in the past.

"These girls are not held in Chibok. Sometime, people want the President to go to Chibok.

"If the President goes to Chibok today, it does not solve any problem.

"The problem facing the President and indeed the Nigerian Government is how to get these girls from wherever they are," he declared.

Mr. Jonathan said the service chiefs had since visited the area, adding that the emphasis now was on the rescue of the girls abducted over a month ago.

The President assured that the Nigerian military were being trained to develop the necessary capacity to adequately deal with the terror threat.

He said that there were challenges in containing the insurgents because terrorism was a relatively new phenomenon in Nigeria.

Mr. Jonathan also asserted that the allegation of misappropriation of funds against the military was exaggerated.

The president has been criticised for not visiting Chibok to meet the families of the kidnapped girls as well as members of the community. He has also been criticised for his government's handling of the kidnap. Mr. Jonathan's first public statement on the kidnap occurred three weeks after the incident.

Nigeria is working with its international partners including the U.S. and the U.K. to secure the release of the girls from the Boko Haram insurgents.


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