News / Africa

Obasanjo: Some Nigerian Schoolgirls May Never Return

Two Months Later, Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Still Missingi
X
Heather Murdock
June 13, 2014 4:54 PM
Two months ago, in mid-April, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their schoolhouse in northeastern Nigeria. Since then, nationwide--even worldwide--protests have demanded their return and countries around the globe have offered to help. But the girls remain missing. For VOA, Heather Murdock reports from Abuja that analysts say the time for ordinary solutions is over.
Heather Murdock
— Some of the schoolgirls abducted by militant group Boko Haram may never return home, Nigeria's influential former president Olusegun Obasanjo said, in some of the most pessimistic comments yet on their fate from a member of the country's elite.
 
Obasanjo said President Goodluck Jonathan's administration had taken too long to respond to the April mass abduction. Once Jonathan's mentor and one of his strongest political allies, Obasanjo turned against him last December.
 
“I believe that some of them will never return. We will still be hearing about them many years from now,” Obasanjo told the BBC's Hausa-language radio service on Thursday, in comments echoed in an interview with Nigeria's Premium Times website.
 
The warning from Obasanjo, who stepped down in 2007 and nurtured Jonathan's own rise to power, will dismay parents who have now waited 60 days for any news of their daughters, taken from a school in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria.
 
Obasanjo's criticisms underline divisions within his and Jonathan's ruling People's Democratic Party, heightened by the failure of the government and army to rescue the girls and by political jostling ahead of presidential elections due in 2015.
 
“If you get all of them back, I will consider it a near-miracle ... Do you think they (Boko Haram) will hold all of them together up till now? The logistics for them to do that, holding over 200 girls together, is too much,” Obasanjo said, according to Premium Times.
 
“If the administration had acted quickly, we could have rescued them,” he said.
 
Pressure
 
Boko Haram, which wants to set up an Islamist caliphate in Africa's largest economy, has fought back against an army offensive and killed thousands in bomb and gun attacks, striking as far afield as the central city of Jos and the capital Abuja.
 
“As these events get reported, it's bringing far more publicity for their (Boko Haram's) cause and it's putting pressure on the Nigerian government,” Martin Roberts, a senior Africa analyst at research firm IHS, told Reuters.
 
Activists have staged regular street protests demanding that Jonathan step up efforts to free the girls. The president has also faced hostile media coverage and a vociferous global #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign.
 
Jonathan has traded accusations over the failure to crush Boko Haram with the main opposition party, which runs local authorities in the northeastern regions at the heart of the five-year-old revolt.
 
Obasanjo, twice president and a powerful political godfather, has progressively fallen out with Jonathan. In a letter leaked in December, he said any decision by Jonathan to seek a second term in the 2015 poll would be “morally flawed”.
 
Jonathan has not confirmed he will run again, but campaign-style posters and banners bearing his image have sprung up around the capital.
 
His assumed ambition to seek re-election is a thorny issue in religiously mixed Nigeria, where alternating the presidency between the majority Christian south and the mostly Muslim north has been considered an unwritten rule.
 
Jonathan, a southern Christian, was vice president and came to power when President Umaru Yar'Adua, a northern Muslim, died in May 2010, three years into his first term.
 
Underlining the growing pressure for more action on Boko Haram, Nigeria's defense ministry said on Thursday it was studying the military tactics used by Sri Lanka to crush the island nation's rebel Tamil Tigers.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: babalola biodun from: Lagos,Nigeria
June 13, 2014 2:25 PM
By not returning of the abducted girls will surely have negative effect on 2015 presidential election.This issuse of boko-haram is an international issue and not just only Nigeria or Jonathan case. The insurgent use different name in different countries.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid