HIGHLIGHT – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, on Monday advised former President, Goodluck Jonathan against “finger pointing” on the issue of the abducted Chibok girls.
Mohammed made the remark while reacting to Jonathan’s statement that his then administration never rejected offers from the British Military to rescue the girls.
The Minister noted that Jonathan’s claim that some people were playing politics with the issue of the abducted Chibok girls was an unnecessary distraction from ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining girls in captivity.
In a statement he signed, Mohammed said, ”While former President Jonathan reserves the right to defend his Administration, he should not engage in finger-pointing by saying, in a statement, that ‘some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest.”
Mohammed maintained that if anyone ever played politics with the issue of Chibok girls, it was Jonathan’s government and not the current one.
”After the girls were kidnapped and the Jonathan Administration did nothing for all of 15 days or make any determined efforts to rescue them thereafter, our party, the then opposition APC, told the nation several times that the whole Boko Haram crisis was allowed to escalate by the PDP-controlled Federal Government so they can use it as a political tool ahead of the 2015 elections. ”
Mohammed recalled how in a statement on 8 September 2014, he said “President Jonathan-PDP’s political manipulation of the Boko Haram has to be understood as part of its poker-like calculus for clinging on to political power ahead of the 2015 elections.
“The Boko Haram crisis is readily used by the PDP to rationalize the Jonathan Government’s abdication of its constitutional responsibilities, including visits and assistance to areas affected as well as effective response to abductions (e.g. the GEJ government was silent over the Chibok girls kidnaps for over 15 days). ”
“Two-and-a-half years after that statement, we have been vindicated by the report that claimed President Jonathan rebuffed an attempt by the British government to help rescue the girls. We hope the former President will now refrain from stoking further controversy over the lingering abduction issue and allow the government of the day to focus on its ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the Chibok girls.”