News / Africa

    Nigeria President to Assure Chibok Parents, says Aide

    FILE - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks in Abuja, June 24, 2014.
    FILE - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks in Abuja, June 24, 2014.
    Peter Clottey

    Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan will reassure parents and community leaders from Chibok that his administration is committed to rescuing the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, a presidential spokesman said Monday.

    The president is scheduled to meet with the parents Tuesday at the presidential villa in Abuja, according to officials of the administration.

    Spokesman Ruben Abati said Tuesday’s meeting forms part of the president’s effort to address the challenges of terrorism and acts of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram militants in parts of the country.

    “This is something that the president has always wanted,” Abati said.  “The president had made efforts initially to meet with various stakeholders from Chibok and from the north eastern part of the country. The president will…reassure them of the government’s commitment to empathize with them, to bring them up to date about the efforts being made by the administration to ensure that the girls are brought back home safely.”                                                                                

    Jonathan pledged to meet the parents of the abducted schoolgirls following a recent meeting with Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, but a proposed meeting didn’t happen.

    Abati says security agencies have credible intelligence about where the militants are keeping the girls, but declined to disclose it due to security concerns.

    Critics say the president has yet to visit the Chibok area or meet the parents and elders of the community since the girls were abducted over 90 days ago.

    But Abati disagreed, saying parents and community leaders in Chibok refused a presidential fact finding mission established to investigate the abduction of the schoolgirls.

    “The process of rescuing the girls may look like is taking sometime, but government remains committed, and government is optimistic that at the end of the day, it will succeed in bringing the girls back home safely,” said Abati.

    Some parents of the abducted girls, as well as leaders of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, have expressed frustration over the lack of information about efforts to rescue the abducted schoolgirls.

    But Abati says the government has been forthright with information about efforts being made to find and rescue the girls. He says the administration sympathizes with the parents in spite of their criticisms.

    “The government has set up a national information center, which provides information on a daily basis and you also have the directorate of defense information which keeps everybody up to date on a daily basis. So, I think the point about information, I think we have gone beyond that,” said Abati.                                                   

    “The expectation of course on the part of the parents will be that they want quick results. But, government continues to reassure the parents and other stakeholders that government is committed to one major objective, to ensure that the girls are brought back home safely and... that the terrorist does not prevail, “ said Abati.

    Clottey interv with Dr. Ruben Abati, spokesperson for President Jonathan
    Clottey interv with Dr. Ruben Abati, spokesperson for President Jonathani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

     

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 22, 2014 12:49 PM
    Hello Peter, whose flag, I mean, which country owns that flag standing by president Jonathan? Surely it is not Nigeria's flag, or has it changed from green-white-green to green-yellow or something? VOA is now the mouthpiece of the Nigerian government to launder its image by telling Nigerians and the world lies.This is beyond rebranding the president, at least. Imagine Abati saying what president Jonathan has always wanted to do.. If we debunk any of them, VOA will not publish it. If the government feeds us with lies, VOA wants us to swallow it.

    Let me ask, how much of the image-laundering $1billion will go to VOA for covering up for the Nigerian government, how much will go for the ransom payment to rescue the girls? Elsewhere in the world, once the government knows where its kidnapped citizens are held hostage, it swings into action, codons it off and "negotiates"(where necessary) with the hostage takers. But in Nigeria, they think everybody is stupid, and so they tell us "we know where the girls are, but we don;t want to move in so that they do not harm them". Yeah, in a banana republic, anything goes, as the people are expected to be all gullible. What Abati wants us to believe is we have an action president, or don't we?

    by: RxZepet from: Benin City,9ja
    July 22, 2014 3:56 AM
    Keep deceiving u.no problem,for all d lies u people in Aso Rock r telling Nigerians,dearis God oo!!!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora