Jonathan shouldn’t play politics with Chibok girls – APC

The All Progressives Congress on Thursday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to secure the release of the schoolgirls, who were abducted from Chibok, Borno State, by the Boko Haram sect over six months ago if indeed the Presidency knows where they are.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Abuja, said the President should not seek to make political gains out of the situation.

It said, ‘’Mr. President, tongues are wagging that you know where the girls are and that you want them to be released only when it will give you the maximum political advantage. We don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is, please release the girls now.’’

“It is cruel and unconscionable for anyone to use these girls as pawns on a political chessboard. They have now been in captivity for over six full months. Please, end the agony of the girls’ parents and, indeed, of all Nigerians.’’

The APC said President Jonathan has exhibited an unprecedented nonchalance over the plight of the girls.

It noted that the President waited for 19 days before admitting that the girls had been abducted, “losing a critical window of opportunity to rescue them from their abductors.”

The party said, ‘’A little over a month after the girls were abducted, the Chief of Defence Staff said the security leadership in the country had located where Boko Haram is holding the abducted girls. Since then, Nigerians have been waiting for the girls to be rescued, to no avail. No one has told Nigerians the problems that are mitigating against the release of the girls, be it logistic or otherwise.

“More recently, on September 23, the military tweeted the imminent release of the girls, only to retract the statement shortly, thereafter. However, in the intervening period, thousands of ‘supporters’ of the President had gathered at the Pierre Hotel in New York to welcome the President (who was then in New York for the UN General Assembly session) after the release of the girls, while media interviews had been booked for him. No one has told Nigerians why that ‘imminent release’ of the girls was botched.”

The party added that a flurry of nocturnal activities had been going on to negotiate the release of the girls, even after the same government said it would never negotiate their release.

“It is clear that President Jonathan has suddenly shown more interest in their release after his consensus nomination as the PDP candidate for next year’s elections. Our appeal, therefore, is for the President to allow the immediate release of the girls, rather than wait for when it will give maximum boost to his political fortunes,” it said.

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