Between Jonathan and Abducted Girls Parents, Who Really Cancelled the Planned Meeting?
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), on Tuesday reported that the parents of the kidnapped Chibok students said ‘no’ to a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
The planned meeting scheduled after 17 year old Pakistani girl child education activist, Malala Yousafzai visited the president at the presidential villa and asked that he meets with the president was to add to the president’s ongoing charm offensive to launder his image.
According to report, the meeting was a staged event organized by Levick, the Washington-based PR firm, and President Goodluck Jonathan was set to formally meet and be photographed with the families of the students abducted by Boko Haram in mid-April. 17 Chibok residents were expected to meet with the president, including five of the students who had managed to escape. However, the Borno State families, in a surprising last minute move, reportedly called it off.
However, while reports were making the rounds that the parents of the abducted girls had rejected the offer by the president to meet with them, the presidency quickly sent out a statement to the media, stating that President Jonathan has cancelled the meeting with the parents of the abducted Chibok girls. The move is seen as a face saving measure with the blamed heaped on the opposition as usual.
In the statement, the president blamed opposition forces for the cancellation and particularly cited the Nigerian chapter of the #BringBackOurGirls movement.
“It is with great regret that I announce the cancellation of the meeting with 12 parents of the abducted Chibock children, as well as five of the brave girls who escaped from the terrorist organization Boko Haram. I scheduled this meeting, which was to be open to the media for coverage by Nigerian and international press, to listen to their stories and to privately brief the parents and the girls on our efforts to rescue the abducted girls,” the president said.
“My priority is not politics. My priority is the return of these girls.”
“Unfortunately, political forces within the Nigerian chapter of Bring Back Our Girls have decided to take this opportunity to play politics with the situation and the grief of the parents and the girls. They should be ashamed of their actions.”
What is however surprising is that the President did not state categorically what the opposition forces or the Nigerian chapter of the Bring Back Our Girls movement did that resulted to the cancellation of the meeting with the president.
One thing is clear from all that transpired. The Chibok parents cancelled the meeting and not president Jonathan as we are being made to believe. But do you blame the parents who 92 days after their daughters were taken into captivity, it took the intervention of a 17 year old girl for the president to agree to meet with the parents despite their grief and sorrows.
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