today's Pick
Ex-leader doubtful over abducted girls' return
Publish Date: Jun 14, 2014
Ex-leader doubtful over abducted girls' return
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo (right) says it would be a miracle for all the girls to return. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LAGOS - Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo has voiced fears that not all of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram would ever return.

"It's inconceivable to get all of them back," he said in an interview with the Premium Times online news site published Thursday.

"If you get all of them back, I will consider it a near-miracle," he was quoted as saying.

Boko Haram militants abducted 276 girls from their school in the remote town of Chibok, in northeastern Borno state, on April 14.

Nearly two months on, there is little sign of the girls being freed or rescued, despite Nigeria's military saying that they knew where the teenagers were being held and an international rescue effort.

Obasanjo, who last month held exploratory talks to open channels of communication with the Islamists through intermediaries, echoed widely held doubts that all of the girls were still together.

Analysts suspect that the 219 girls still missing are likely to have been split into smaller groups and possibly taken outside Nigeria.

The mass abduction triggered global condemnation and criticism about Nigeria's government and military initial response, which was described as slow and lacklustre.

In a recent televised interview, Obasanjo -- president from 1999 to 2007 after the country returned to civilian rule -- had slammed the Nigerian authorities' lethargy in rescuing the girls.

US drones and surveillance aircraft have been involved in the hunt but with Nigeria fearful that an armed response would put the girls' lives in danger, talk has turned to negotiations.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has indicated that he may be prepared to release the girls in exchange for militant fighters held in the country's jails.

Nigeria's government initially rejected the proposal out of hand but there are indications that it may be prepared to open dialogue.

AFP


Also related to this story

Nigeria's Jonathan cancels visit to abducted girls' town

Release kidnapped Nigerian girls- Ugandan women


Malala: abducted Nigerian girls are my sisters
   
Kidnapped Nigeria girls taken to Islamist stronghold

Vatican appeals for kidnapped schoolgirls

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
A family speaks of their shock after a man jumps out of bushes and drives off in a hearse carrying the body of a relative just before his funeral....
Officials ordered to eat street food to trim budget
Indonesia orders officials to eat local street food at meetings instead of fancy foreign fare and stop holding lavish parties....
Onegi-Obel cleared of fraud in NSSF sh8b case
The Anti- Corruption Court has cleared the former board chairman of the NSS Geoffrey Onegi Obel, of charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss....
Brutalised baby admitted at Mulago Hospital
Eric Kamanzi and Angella Mbabazi, the parents of Aneela Kamanzi, the one-year old toddler has been admitted at the Paediatrics Acute Care Unit in Mulago Hospital for further checkup....
Sole candidature was imposed on Museveni - MP
The legislator says the resolution to field President Yoweri Museveni as the party’s sole candidate was imposed on him....
Police trying to verify Luzinda nude photos
Police seek the opinion of forensic experts to help verify the nude photos that are supposedly of musician Desire Luzinda....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter