The spokesman for Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sharply condemned threats by Islamic militant group, Boko Haram to sell over 200 school girls the militants abducted last month.
Abdullahi Jalo says President Goodluck Jonathan’s government is doing everything possible through the security agencies to find the abducted girls, despite criticisms that the administration has failed to keep its mandate to protect civilians as stipulated in the constitution.
Boko Haram - which means western education is sacrilegious in the Hausa language - have been carrying out violent activities in parts of the country. But Jalo says the militants will fail in their quest to stop all forms of western education in the country through violence.
“They have not preached to the people what is their direction they have not said what they got the inscription of what they are doing. This [abduction] has no provision in Islam, has no provision in any civilized world. It is just wickedness, and barbaric,” said Jalo.
He says religious leaders in the country have also condemned the abduction of the girls.
On April 14, Boko Haram militants stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.
In a televised speech Sunday night, President Jonathan said his administration will find the girls and set them free.
But Ango Abdullahi, a leading member of the Northern Elders Forum, says the government has yet to negotiate with representatives of Boko Haram to help end the violence perpetrated by the militant group.
“If they had, we will not be where we are now. We must be in a better place to begin to ask where it ends. But, at the moment, apparently, there is no indication as to when the end will come,” said Abdullahi.
Some Nigerians have been critical of the administration for not doing enough to secure the release of the abducted school girls despite repeated promises to do so. PDP spokesman Jalo disagreed.
“The government has [assured] that wherever these girls [are] even the president said wherever they are they should be brought back. And he reaffirmed to people that, no matter what, the government will spend its last blood, [and] last effort to see that these girls have been returned to their loved ones. Efforts are being done in searching for these girls,” said Jalo.
He says the ruling party has put pressure on the administration to continue with efforts to find the abducted girls and reunite them with their families.
Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces.
Clottey interview with Abdullahi Jalo, PDP spokesman