President Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting with the parents of Chibok girls, abducted 3 months ago by Boko Haram insurgents was cancelled by parents.
A day ago a country leader vowed to meet the aggrieved parents for the first time since the students’ kidnap in April. He made the promise while speaking with the honourable guest, Pakistani rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai yesterday.
However at the last minute the scheduled encounter with 12 parents and 5 escaped girls was withdrawn by parents without them giving any reason, BBC reports.
Following the move, in a Tuesday statement Jonathan accused activists of “playing politics” with the grief of girls’ families.
“Unfortunately, political forces within the Nigerian chapter of Bring Back Our Girls have decided to take this opportunity to play politics with the situation and the grief of the parents and the girls. They should be ashamed of their actions. Those who would manipulate the victims of terrorism for their own benefit are engaging in a similar kind of evil: Psychological terrorism.”
According to Punch, Jonathan’s spokesperson Doyin Okupe later confirmed to journalists that he had received a call indicating the parents would not come to the meeting at the Presidential Villa. He said investigation revealed that the escaped girls and the parents of the abducted girls were whisked away Tuesday morning by the BringBackOurGirls campaigners.
Okupe expressed his opinion that such a move by campaigners was aimed at discrediting Jonathan ahead of the 2015 elections .
Despite the failed meeting, he said Jonathan ordered letters to be sent to Chibok girls’ parents containing the invitation to the re-scheduled meeting, which might be held next week.
It would be recalled that judged over not visiting the affected area for weeks after the tragedy, Jonathan allegedly planned to visit Chibok in May, but his trip was said to have been cancelled due to security reasons.