How #BringBackOurGirls Group Stopped Me From Seeing Chibok Parents – Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday accused the leadership of #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group campaign group of deliberately stopping 12 parents of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in Borno State by the Boko Haram sect from meeting with him as scheduled.
Following the promise he made to the Pakistani girl-Child education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai, when she visited him at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday, Jonathan had promised to meet with the parents of the girls.
But the meeting between the president and the girls’ parents which was billed to hold by 4pm yesterday could not hold, as the 12 parents of the girls were said to have hurriedly left Abuja on the instruction of the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners
Speaking through his senior special assistant on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Jonathan decried a situation whereby the #BringBackOurGirls group had chosen to politicise the abduction of the Chibok girls.
Accordingly, the president has ordered that an official letter should be written on his behalf to the parents of the girls, inviting them to come back to Abuja to meet with him.
“We are just coming from the president and he has authorised that an official letter be written to the parents inviting them to formally come and meet him and it is going to be sometime next week”, Okupe said.
Addressing State House correspondents after leaving the president’s office, Okupe said, “The meeting was scheduled for 4pm today at the instance of the request that was made by Malala and the president graciously agreed within 24 hours to meet with them. But, unfortunately, the #BringBackOurGirls leadership prevailed on the parents of the girls, and stopped them from coming.
“Therefore, what happened was that they actually shunned the meeting with Mr. President because the foreign media and everybody was waiting for this meeting and since they were no longer coming and they made it expressly clear that they were no longer coming- in fact that the girls were just few minutes away from Chibok- the meeting was aborted.
“It was aborted by the failure of the girls and the parents to show up. They actually shunned the meeting. The president was waiting, the NSA was waiting, top government officials were waiting to receive them for private consultation with the president as promised.”
Asked whether this means the BringBackOurGirls has upper hand over the president of Nigeria, Okupe said, “It is not a matter of upper hand. It was the leadership of BringBackOurGirls that brought them to Abuja and that gives them some leverage. They accommodated them. It is obvious now that the BringBackOurGirls in Nigeria are interested in showmanship and not genuinely concerned with the plight of the children and that of their parents.”
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