Chibok girls’ parents shun meeting with President Jonathan

A meeting scheduled between President Goodluck Jonathan and parents of abducted girls in Chibok, yesterday, could not hold as the parents shunned the meeting.

The meeting was arranged after education activist and a victim of terrorist attack, Malala Yousofazai, met with President Jonathan on Monday and pleaded with the president to meet with the parents of the abducted girls to encourage them.

Jonathan, in a statement delivered by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, accused the BringBackOurGirls activists of politicising the planned meeting by ferreting the parents out of Abuja before the meeting could hold.

Every arrangement had been made for the planned meeting with president, including sending a bus from the Presidential Villa to bring the parents of the girls.

The President’s statement noted that “those who would manipulate the victims of terrorism for their own benefit are engaging in a similar kind of evil: psychological terrorism.”

The President’s statement reads: “It now appears that our fight to get the girls of Chibok back is not only a fight against a terrorist insurgency, but also against a political opposition.

“It is with great regret that I announce the cancellation of the meeting with 12 parents of the abducted Chibock children, as well as five of the brave girls who escaped from the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram.

“I scheduled this meeting, which was to be open to the media for coverage by Nigerian and international press, to listen to their stories and to privately brief the parents and the girls on our efforts to rescue the abducted girls. My priority is not politics. My priority is the return of these girls.

“Unfortunately, political forces within the Nigerian chapter of BringBackOurGirls have decided to take this opportunity to play politics with the situation and the grief of the parents and the girls. They should be ashamed of their actions.

“Those who would manipulate the victims of terrorism for their own benefit, are engaging in a similar kind of evil: psychological terrorism.

“I want to be clear, this government stands with complete solidarity with the girls and their parents. We are doing everything in our power to bring back our girls. Despite the shameful and disgusting games being played by the Nigerian chapter of BringBackOurGirls, as a father of girls, I stand ready to meet with the parents of our abducted children and the truly brave girls that have escaped this nightmare through the grace of God.”

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