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President Goodluck Jonathan cancels visit to Chibok, where 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped
| May 17, 2014
In a shocking development, President Goodluck Jonathan cancelled a planned trip to Chibok, Borno State, where over 200 students of the Government Girls Secondary School were kidnapped by Boko Haram last month. Earlier indications had suggested that President Jonathan planned to visit Chibok before he travelled to France to attend a security summit and the parents of the schoolgirls and Borno state government officials had been waiting for him. Reports say that traditional rulers and other state government officials had gathered in Chibok in the morning to welcome the President and the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima flew back to Borno State, from out of the country, to receive President Jonathan. No official statement had been issued for the planned visit or its cancellation but the President's adviser on media, Reuben Abati, said that President Jonathan never planned to visit Chibok yesterday saying via his Twitter account, âEvery official trip by the President is preannounced. There was no announcement of the presidentâs trip to Chibok. Please ignore the rumour,â. However, Mr Abati was forced to acknowledge that the Presidency has only previously issued statements on the Presidentâs foreign trips, not for local trips. Another presidency source also told the BBC that the trip was cancelled for security reasons. Another Special Adviser to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in an interview with CNN, denied that the President cancelled the trip for security reasons and said that the President might still visit Chibok when he gets back from France. Reaction to the cancellation has been swift and full of outrage. The All Progressives Congress, APC, called the cancellation âa good example of his governmentâs policy indecisionâ. Saying, President Jonathan has clearly abandoned the Nigerian people and Nigerians are conscious of this. Obama went to Afghanistan, so did Bush. I think Jonathan lacks good advisers.â The Northern Elders Forum also criticised the cancellation of the visit to Chibok, saying it is completely embarrassing and portrayed Jonathan as a âpush aroundâ leader. Families of the kidnapped girls expressed their disappointment but said they were not surprised as parents of the missing school girls have lost confidence in the government to rescue their daughters who were kidnapped by Boko Haram over a month ago. One family member said, You begin to question what could be more important to the President than the lives of these students.â âThe parents were hoping he would come with some information for them about where the girls may be and what efforts are being made to recover them. To be told that he is not coming was not easy for them. Itâs not an easy thing to have a missing child.â President Jonathan has been severely criticized for his attitude towards the plight of the girls, which some people have deemed as indifferent almost to the point of callousness. He did not address the nation about the missing girls for three weeks and is accused not reacting until the whole world and the international community reacted.

(1) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Accra, GHANA    May 21, 2014
Why would Mr. Jonathan visit Chibok? There would not have been any red carpet reception but wailing and crying mothers, perhaps in black dresses to reflect their mood. The place is highly volatile unlike the peaceful environment in Paris where meeting on Boko Haram would take place. His daughter was not among the missing school girls, so he could not feel a direct pain. It is not yet time to campaign for votes on government's "good will" if elected.

But Nigerians must begin to take notes. Chibok involved hundreds of school girls. Mr. Jonathan had at a time provided schools in the North whilst telling Nigerians that education would solve the problem of Boko Haram. The acid test of his belief system, policy and plan for the people is Chibok. Is Mr. Jonathan consistent? Humm! Nigeria is yet to have a true president.

God save Nigeria
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