Goodluck Jonathan Never Turned Down Our Offer to Rescue Chibok Girls – British Government
The British Government on Tuesday corroborated the position of former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who said there was no time his administration turned down an offer by Britain to help rescue 200 schools girls abducted in April 2014 from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.
The British High Commission to Nigeria in a statement issued in Abuja, said the story by a British Newspaper, The Observer, alleging that Nigerian government under Jonathan refused assistance to rescue the girls in 2014, was untrue.
The statement said the statement by the paper that, “the RAF were over the area for number of months and have actually located these girls within weeks only for the Nigerian government under former President Goodluck Jonathan to turn down there offer to rescue the girls”, was false.
The Commission said during the Jonathan administration, there was “a more cordial, collaborative and unified approach between Nigeria and her allies than the reported differences”.
“UK worked with the US and France to provide a range of military and intelligence support to the Nigerian government in their search (for Chibok girls) and in fact a wider effort to address the longer term challenge of terrorism. But importantly, we won’t comment on specific additional details, which are a matter for the Nigerian government and the military,” the statement said.
Speaking on the visit of the UN team to Nigeria, Rycroft noted that Boko Haram terrorism “is one of the most neglected crisis and we want to shine a spotlight on that crisis”.
He urged the global community “including the governments of that region can step up and respond to the crisis before it is too late”.
“Part of that crisis is terrorism and we stand with the government and people of this region and particularly the government of Nigeria in confronting the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region. The UNSC applauds the works of the MNJTF. Talking about the UN sending a peacekeeping force that has not been requested by the government of Nigeria, I am aware. That we can do as a bilateral agreement with the government of Nigeria,” he added.
For his part, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Ambassador. Edward Kalom, said that the magnitude of the crisis in Nigeria is of global concern.
Kalom said that UN has articulated strategies to reach 6.9 million most affected Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs) and refugees in the North East out of the 8.5 million that needs humanitarian assistance before 2019 general elections.
He said: “We are talking about 14 million people are affected by the Boko Haram crisis in November East Nigeria and about 8.5 million of these people need urgent humanitarian assistance.
“And the UN has prepared 2017 humanitarian plan to reach about 6.9 million of the most affected people in the North East Nigeria and I want to repeat that we have a timeline of 18 Months to address serious humanitarian situation in the region.
“This is because after 18 Months government of Nigeria will be busy with elections. And elections in this clime may affect how we address the humanitarian crisis. And in this regard we congratulate the government of Nigeria and Cameroon for signing the tripartite agreement with the
UNHCR last week. ”
Also speaking at the briefing on Monday, the United States (US) Representatives to UNSC, Ambassador Michele Sison, commended the progress made by the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to wrest territories away from Boko Haram and ISIS in West Africa.
Sison however, noted that women and girls were at risk of sex and gender based violence”.
She appealed to the Nigerian government to ensure that IDPs and refugee returns are voluntary and according to procedures of UNHCR.