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
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs