Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he cannot take responsibility for the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls because he doesn’t control Boko Haram
More than 100 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014.
Speaking on the kidnap, which happened during his administration, Jonathan said he could not say whether he was right or wrong on the kidnap, or that he was trying to remove himself from blame.
He stated this in an interview with BBC on Friday.
His words: “Immediately the Chibok [schoolgirls] issue came up, we expected Nigerians to be concerned. ‘How do we get these girls out?’ Within a couple of days, we saw people going to the US with Bring Back Our Girls placards. How? Why? And of course, Mrs Obama received one of those placards. I cannot take responsibility for that abduction. I don’t control Boko Haram. They are criminals.
“But as a president, of course you know it’s not the president that goes to the fields. You have security and intelligence officers that do the work. Let me admit that yes, maybe they do their best, but their best was not good enough for us to recover the girls. That I cannot say I am right or I am wrong. That does not mean I am trying to remove myself from any blame. Yes I may not be blamed for the action, but I could be blamed that my security and intelligence systems were not strong enough to be able to rescue the girls.
“If I as a politician, will tell the whole world that my political ambition fir any single office is not worth the blood of any Nigerian, how will I be happy that girls have been kidnapped? I’m not that kind of character.”
On his expectations on the 2019 general election, he said: “We’re a bit worried about the neutrality of the relevant agencies of government because with previous elections, I was not in the field. Of course, after every election, people will complain naturally. Those are the areas people are getting worried, but I believe the elections will come and go and those bodies, the INEC, the Police, the Army and the Department of State Security (DSS) will be able to do well.”
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