Former president Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to a report published by The Guardian UK about how he “rejected” an offer from the British government to rescue over 200 female students of Chibok Secondary School, days after their abduction by terrorist sect Boko Haram in April 2014.
This was disclosed in a statement by Jonathan’s media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, who said the “lies” in the report are “self evident”.
“Our attention has been drawn to a report that has been trending, without proper attribution, to the effect that the last administration rebuffed British offer to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls.
We wish to promptly point out that nothing can be further from the truth, as Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the Jonathan administration towards rescuing the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community.
We can confidently say that the lies in this report are self evident. This is because the international press as well as the Nigerian media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with our own security operatives, and those of our neighbours,” the statement said.
Jonathan said that local operatives in the affected regions – Chad, Niger and Cameroon – also had meetings at the time.
“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.
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.
We are 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,” the statement added.