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Chibok Girls: Presidency Doubts Obasanjo’s Sincerity



obasanjo-oluseg2The thinking in government circles is that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is not sincere in his widely-publicised plan to intervene in the rescue of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State, The PUNCH investigation has revealed.

Obasanjo was reported last week as saying that he had links with Boko Haram, the group holding the girls, and that he needed a go-ahead from the Federal Government before intervening.

Although the Presidency had said it was open to any intervention by anybody that could lead to the rescue of the girls, Obasanjo granted another interview recently, saying he had yet to receive government’s go-ahead.

But a top Presidency source, who pleaded not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, however, told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, that Obasanjo was not sincere in his claims.

The source said the former President had yet to approach President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter despite the fact that he had an unfettered access to him.

He added that what further showed the insincerity in Obasanjo’s claims was his absence on two occasions last week during events that he could have used to approach the President if he did not want to speak with him one-on-one.

The source said, “The truth of the matter is that Chief Obasanjo is not sincere in his claim and the government would no longer be drawn into a media war with him no matter the provocation.

“It will interest you to know that he has not approached the President on the matter despite the interviews he has been granting on the matter.

“Just last week, there was an All Political Parties Summit on Security attended by the President in Abuja, Chief Obasanjo was invited and he did not attend.

“You will also recall that President Jonathan, later in the day, also met with former leaders inside the Presidential Villa on the security situation in the country. Again, Chief Obasanjo did not attend that meeting.

“All these are pointers to the fact that the former leader is not sincere in his claims.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Chibok community in Abuja, Tsambido Abana, has said that the military has yet to deploy troops in their community despite the fresh threat by Boko Haram to strike again.

Abana, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday, said the Chairman of the Chibok Local Government Area, made this known to him.

Boko Haram had last week written to the people of the community to watch out for its next visit.

Abana, who confirmed that the people were living in fear, pleaded with the government to immediately send troops to the community.

He said, “Since they got the letter from Boko Haram, our people have been living in fear and no soldier has been sent to protect them. The only thing they can do if Boko Haram comes, is to run and hide in the bush. The government should please send soldiers to protect the community from destruction by Boko Haram.”

Asked whether the community had made a formal report to the police and military authorities, Abana, said the publication of the threat was enough notification to the government.

Efforts to get the Director of Defence Information, Maj.Gen. Chris Olukolade, to speak on the threat by Boko Haram did not yield any result as his telephone line indicated that it was either switched off or in an area outside network coverage.

But a top security source said that they were aware of the story that the insurgents wrote the community.

He said, “We are aware of that story here but we don’t know if the authorities have deployed soldiers in the place or not.”

Meanwhile, the Presidential Fact-finding Committee on the Abduction of Chibok schoolgirls may submit its report to the President on Wednesday (today).

The committee which was set up by Jonathan on May 6 is chaired by Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo.

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