Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed reports by a foreign newspaper that his administration refused help from the British government to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
On sunday 5th March,the UK Guardian, reported that Jonathan-led administration rejected the offer of British armed forces to help in rescuing the girls, who were abducted in April 2014.
The paper reported the British Armed Forces in a mission named ‘Operation Turus,’ conducted air reconnaissance over northern Nigeria for several months, following the kidnapping of 276 girls from the town of Chibok.
Quoting a source involved in the operation, the paper said the Nigerian government declined the offer from the British government to help rescue the girls after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.
However, Jonathan has described the report as lies by people playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls.
The former president in a statement signed by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said his administration made efforts to rescue the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community, the Cable reports
The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to a report that has been trending, without proper attribution, to the effect that the last administration rebuffed British offer to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls.
The aide to the former president said the Jonathan administration was supportive of the assistance offered by foreign powers in conducting the search and rescue missions for the girls.
He said: “In fact, the Jonathan administration was so genuinely supportive that the foreign powers involved were granted permission to overfly our airspace, while conducting the search and rescue missions.”
“We would wish to recall that this collaboration was made possible following letters personally written by former president Jonathan to Barack Obama, former president of the United States; Francois Hollande, president of France, David Cameron, former British prime minister, as well as personal contacts made to the Governments of Israel and China, seeking their assistance in the search for the abducted Chibok girls.”
He said some people were playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls for their interests.
“We are not surprised that this kind of concocted story is coming out at this point in time, as it appears that some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest.”
“We wish to promptly point out that nothing can be further from the truth, as Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the Jonathan administration towards rescuing the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community.
“We can confidently say that the lies in this report are self evident. This is because the international press as well as the Nigeria media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with our own security operatives, and those of our neighbours.”