The Former President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed why he refused to visit Chibok after the abduction of about 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno State.
Jonathan in his book, ‘My Transition Hours’ said he had planned to pay an unannounced visit to the community but he had to cancel after information about the proposed visit was leaked to the foreign media.
He also dismissed the claim that several local government areas were under the control of the insurgents when he handed over power to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He argued that elections would not have held in those communities if they were not liberated from the control of the insurgents.
According to him: “Again, I was accused of not visiting Chibok immediately after the abduction of the girls. A lot of assumptions were made. What was not countenanced was the fact that a President moved with security advice from experts because he ceases to be a private citizen the moment he wears the powers of state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state that I had made up my mind to visit Chibok even against the advice of my Service Chiefs and sent an advance party to the area in preparation for my visit. It was meant to be an unannounced visit.
“However someone in the know, most likely a saboteur, leaked the information to the Western media and they reported it.
“Of course when it became public knowledge that I planned to visit Chibok, the security chiefs requested the trip to be cancelled. Their advice was germane and regrettably, my visit had to be cancelled.
“Sometime, in the heat of the moment, one got the impression that I was being goaded to appear there in the great expectation of something untoward happening to me. I was to access Chibok in a helicopter that would have flown over Boko Haram infested areas.
“This wave of misinformation on the kidnap of the Chibok girls is similar to the malicious propaganda still being spread by those who saw nothing commendable in all we did to curb the Boko Haram situation in the North East.”
On whether he was slow in his response to the abduction, the former President said: “The criticism over alleged slow response was one of those absurd injections into the discourse, but when it comes from eminent persons who were supposed to be circumspect; it began to look more plausible to observers.
“My administration was not slow in responding to the Chibok incident. How could response have been slow in a military occupied zone? Before the Presidency was alerted by the intelligence services, the military were already on it.
“As soon as I got the intelligence report, I summoned the service chiefs for briefing. I was informed that the Air Force was already using several surveillance aircraft to search the area.”
On the number of communities liberated from the insurgents before he handed over, he said: “They claimed that I left several local government areas under the control of the insurgents.
•Excerpted from The Nation report
Source News Express