News / Africa

Nigeria Official Denies President Jonathan Chibok Visit

President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
Peter Clottey
A senior official has sharply denied reports that President Goodluck Jonathan plans on Friday to visit Chibok, the place where over 200 school girls were abducted by violent Islamist militants, Boko Haram, last month.

Mike Omeri, the director general of Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency, and Coordinator of National Information Center decried what he says is the ongoing “misinformation” being peddled both locally and internationally to create tension and panic among the population.

“I am not sure of the report and its sources. As coordinator of the National information Center, I don’t have information; therefore I doubt its authenticity,” said Omeri.

“Since this incident started, lots of misinformation has been going on both local and international. And Nigerians are out there who are not part of what is happening at home are feeling agitated and worried,” said Omeri. “We have so many of such stories even in some of our local newspapers that are not true.”

Omeri says the administration in Abuja has established an information center to correct misinformation, which he says is creating apprehension among Nigerians at home and abroad.

“What we have done is to ensure the streamlining of information to serve as the only credible source to the people, available and put in place by the government Nigeria. So, what happens here is that any other agency engaging in this activity channels reports and outcomes to this center and it is further relayed to citizens,” said Omeri.

His comments came after several local and international news organizations reported that Mr. Jonathan planned to visit Chibok on Friday.                               

The government in Abuja has come under criticism for allegedly not doing enough to search for the girls following their abduction by the Boko Haram extremists. They also criticized the administration following reports that the administration initially refused international help to find the school girls.

Omeri disagreed saying the accusations against the president are untrue.  He says the administration has put in measures, which he contends have led to the arrest of some suspected Boko Haram militants in a bid to find the abducted school girls.

“The government is doing its best within the capacity that it has at the moment. It has mobilized troops and has a division within the Nigerian army with two battalions stationed in the area working assiduously with citizens,” said Omeri. “The government is also mobilizing citizens to be aware, to be security conscious and to participate in the task of arresting this insurgency.”

Omeri says the government has stepped up efforts in search of the abducted school girls following what he says has been an intensified support from the international community.

“The international partners are being briefed. They are meeting with security agencies, and other organs of government. They are being briefed to engage in the [search],” said Omeri. “Let’s focus on the goal and not be distracted by irrelevances. I want to assure [people] that Nigeria and its government remains committed and is standing by the parents and standing with the students to ensure that they are back safely.”
Clottey interview with Mike Omeri, head of the National Orientation Agency
Clottey interview with Mike Omeri, head of the National Orientation Agencyi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.

Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More