today's Pick
Ex-leader doubtful over abducted girls' returnPublish Date: Jun 14, 2014
Ex-leader doubtful over abducted girls' return
  • mail
  • img
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo (right) says it would be a miracle for all the girls to return. PHOTO/AFP
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
Muslim cleric calls for ‘a life for life’ punishment
A life for life, eye for eye was of the the Old Testament. But a Muslim cleric Sheik Suleiman Kakeeto of the Amir Daulah Muslim group, expressed sentiments that the practise should be reinstated....
Alarm soared in west Africa Monday over the deadliest Ebola virus outbreak yet, with an American doctor and a missionary contracting the disease in Liberia and the death of the first victim from Sierra Leone's capital Freetown...
Judge warns government on impunity
THE head of the land division of the High Court, Justice Wilson Kwesiga, has warned government over impunity, saying the judges were writing ‘painful’ judgments...
Makerere University admits 21,000 students: Full list
Makerere University has released the list of students admitted under the private sponsorship programme....
NRM neutral on cultural institutions, says Museveni
Baleka bye basanidde okukola, nebakola byebatasanidde kukola, namazima tegali mubo (They left undone what they ought to have done and did that they ought not to have done and there is no truth in them)....
US firm to deliver HIV/AIDS services in Uganda
The US Government has contracted an American firm to implement HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda after terminating its partnership with the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) for backing the anti-gay law....
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter