News / Africa

    Nigeria President to Meet Parents of Chibok Girls Next Week

    FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
    FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
    Peter Clottey

    Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan plans to meet parents of the abducted Chibok girls as well as elders of the Chibok community in Abuja.

    That’s according to Doyin Okupe, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, who said the meetings will take place next week after the leader sent them an official invitation.

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

    Okupe blamed leaders of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign for the failure of that meeting to take place.

    “The president has now formally invited them to meet with him on Tuesday and we are expecting that meeting to hold,” said Okupe. “The indication from the parents and their leaders in Abuja was that… they have received the letter and they will honor the invitation.”

    There were local media reports suggesting that the parents were concerned that a television broadcast of a meeting with the president could make them vulnerable to attacks by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

    Okupe dismissed those reports. He said leaders of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign are sabotaging government’s efforts in an attempt to create political discomfort for President Jonathan ahead of next year’s presidential vote.

    “From time immemorial we have always known that they had major political reasons and they were heavily sponsored and had very serious partnership with APC [opposition All Progressives Congress]. And that everything they are doing is to embarrass the government and is pointedly aimed at 2015,” said Okupe. “They were the people who insisted even despite Malala’s efforts these people refused and did not allow the meeting to take place.”

    Opponents of the president have often criticized the administration of being too slow to react following the abduction of the girls by Boko Haram militants.

    They also point out that the president has yet to visit the Chibok area or meet the parents and elders of the community since the girls were abducted over 85 days ago.

    Okupe said the criticisms are politically motivated, insisting that Boko Haram militants are engaged in terrorism and cross border crimes that requires international cooperation to defeat the phenomenon. 

    “[Jonathan] is the president of Nigeria, he will visit Chibok, he will visit anywhere else,” said Okupe. “Since [the] Chibok event over 2,000 people have also been killed by Boko Haram and Abuja was recently bombed. The president has to have all that in view. So it’s not only Chibok …and we still have the problem of Boko Haram to contend with. It’s a very deep and multifaceted problem.”

    Okupe says President Jonathan has been busy with heads of various security agencies and international security experts formulating strategies to address the security challenges the country faces.

    Clottey Interview With Dr. Doyin Okupe, adviser to President Jonathan
    Clottey Interview With Dr. Doyin Okupe, adviser to President Jonathani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

     

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bello Bichi from: Colorado Springs co 80918
    July 21, 2014 4:41 PM
    Mr. President, I think it is of no use what so ever for the parents of the abducted girls to meet with you in Abuja now. This abduction took place last three month and you couldn’t go to Chibok to sympathize with the parents, the people and government of Borno State but instead you want the parents to come and meet with you in Abuja, I think this is wrong, you are the one to go to Chibok even if the Boko Haran is going to abduct you. Your physical presence in Chibok will at least prove to the Nigerians that you really care and have concern for what happened even if your government could not rescue these girls. You should know that “good relationship depend upon feet and maintenance of good relationship between people requires frequent visit.” If you (Goodluck) could not go to Chibok I don’t see why the parents should meet with you in Abuja. “If Abuja could not go to Chibok why should Chibok go to Abuja.”

    by: chizorum
    July 18, 2014 7:14 AM
    i know that Goodluck Jonathan is tryin to bring back those girls and assuming its a real thing about this girls, i am 100% sure that our president would have bring back those girls, if not be the case then its bunch of lies from the other party so that they can use it against him for the next election.

    by: Nwaonyenze from: Lagos
    July 17, 2014 3:00 AM
    I like Mr President, he is very intelligent n cautious.
    Let me say this categorically, There was never any real kidnapping of any girl at Chibok. It was an APC arrangement.
    Shame on the devils.
    God bless n protect Mr Jonathan.

    by: Marvine B. Tchitche from: West Chester, PA
    July 16, 2014 11:32 PM
    We need more pressure from the Nigeria president to bring back our girls.
    In Response

    by: ifeaoluwa
    July 18, 2014 7:08 AM
    am still staying it and i will continue to say this word "there nothing is like chibok girls" and i belive that it a big frame of lies from the ACN

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.