Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has explained that his then government was committed to the release of the abducted Chibok girls, but said there was a different feeling as at then about him by the insurgents who constantly referred to him as an infidel. He said based on that feeling, the insurgents refused to cooperate with his government.
Recall that over 200 school girls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State during the administration of Jonathan with none of the girls released then.
However, since coming on board, the Buhari-led government has been able to secure the release of some of the girls.
In a book “Against The Run of Play” authored by the Chairman of ThisDay editorial Board, Olusegun Adeniyi, Jonathan maintained that he did his best during his administration to counter insurgency.
Jonathan said, “What is happening now with regards to Boko Haram was the same thing that happened to me regarding Niger Delta militants in 2007.
“I did my best and so did the military, though I can understand if there is greater commitment to the fight now than in the past. In my time, Boko Haram said they were fighting an infidel government. That naturally has to change since they cannot also call Buhari an infidel.
“There is a feeling of ‘our man is there now’ that you cannot discountenance. It was the same feeling with me with the Niger Delta militants at the initial stage in 2007.
”The allegation that I didn’t care was false. Immediately I was alerted, I called the military and security chiefs for a briefing after tasking them to get to the root of the matter. Information was initially hazy and there were things that did not add up.
“More than 200 girls were reportedly abducted from different hostels and then put on an open trailer that had no railings. In the same trailer, according to reports, Boko Haram fighters loaded foodstuff.
“The girls were said to have been abducted by people claiming to be soldiers. The military people were on ground and I relied on the information I could get from them. Of course I cared and charged them to find the girls but every effort we took was twisted against me to score cheap political points.”