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
How criminal gangs are killing Africa
The poachers commonly targeted by law enforcement officers are paid around $100 per kilo for ivory...
Chinese become targets in DR Congo anti-government riots
Clashes between Democratic Republic of Congo police and political protestors that left some 40 people dead last week also revealed the level of hostility towards the Chinese in the capital Kinshasa....
Boko Haram frees 192 people held in NE Nigeria: sources
Boko Haram has released nearly 200 hostages, most of them women, who were kidnapped from a village in the northeast Nigerian state of Yobe, a community leader and a military source told AFP Saturday....
The city that saw one hour of sun in December
Residents of Saint-Petersburg endured dreary weather conditions in December, with Russia''s second largest city seeing only one hour of sunshine....
Smoking bad for your wealth at Asian Cup
Palestine and Jordan have been slapped with perhaps the most embarrassing sanctions yet at the Asian Cup....
Mulago: the world’s busiest labour suite
“There is no labour suite in the whole world that delivers as many babies as we do at Mulago because from available records, most of the said busy hospitals are way below our figures,” says Nabunya....
Should local leaders arrest parents who oppose UPE?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter