Nigeria’s president speaks out on kidnapped school girls - CNBC Africa

Nigeria’s president speaks out on kidnapped school girls

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

The abducted girls have been missing for 21 days. PHOTO: Getty images

Yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan addressed the public for the first time since the abduction of over 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno State three weeks ago. In the presidential media chat, Jonathan promised Nigerians that the girls will be found.

“If you take the particular issue of the Chibok girls, I don’t think there was much assurance and I think the strategy was wrong from the beginning,” Opeyemi Agbaje, CEO at RTC Advisory Services told CNBC Africa.

Since the Boko Haram insurgency uprising in 2009, thousands of lives have been lost and regardless of the attempts by the government to curb the terrorists as insecurity in the country seems to be getting worse.

“I suspect that the president isn’t getting the best of advice or he didn’t get the best of advice in the immediate aftermath of that abduction exercise and I still have this sneaky suspicion that some of his advisers are probably not giving him the best advice,” he said.


The girls were taken from their school the day after the first Nyanya bomb blast in Abuja and are yet to be found. Nigerians all over the world continue expressing deep grief about the way the federal government handled the matter and question why it has taken so long to get a federal response.

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“I think when you have 200 girls kidnapped, or even 100 or even 10 girls kidnapped, the first thing is to move quickly and ensure that you surround the space and corner the people but we didn’t do that and it has now become a mystery,” he explained.

The president conveyed distress during the media chat yesterday but many citizens are not swayed with the reaction especially as the government hasn’t made significant strides to get to the root of this matter.

(READ MORE: Bomb in Abuja kills at least 15)

“We are not quite sure where the people are and even though the president may have been doing things in the background, I think that there was a lot of insensivity to the public mood to the particular plight of the children involved,” he added. 


The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month, the French news agency AFP reported, citing a video it had obtained.

"I abducted your girls," Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in the video, according to AFP. It did not immediately give further details.