HIGHLIGHT – Jonathan
Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has refuted claims that his administration rejected an offer made by British Royal Armed Forces to rescue the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
The girls were abducted on April 14, 2014.
A report by The Guardian of London, also quoting the Observer, quoted a source close to the operation: “The girls were located in the first few weeks of the RAF mission. We offered to rescue them, but the Nigerian government declined.”
However, a statement by Jonathan’s Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said the lies in the report were self-evident.
Eze said Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the Jonathan administration to rescue the girls.
Eze said the media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration, which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with Nigerian security operatives and those of its neighbours.
He said: “In the course of the mission, the international team, including members from Nigeria’s neighbours of Chad, Niger and Cameroun, met regularly with our own intelligence officers to plan and conduct their operations.
“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.”
Eze recollected that Jonathan personally wrote to some world leaders, including former US President, Barack Obama; President Francois Hollande of France; and the former Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron.
He added: “We are however not surprised that this kind of concocted story is coming out at this point in time, as it appears that some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest.”