Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan owes Nigerians an apology over revelations by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron that he rejected help to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO insisted that the former President should come clean, apologise to the country and stop grandstanding on the issues brought to light by the disclosures.
The statement reads:
“What other proof do Nigerians need to know that if Jonathan had been allowed an extra week in power, the country would have been in a worse state than Venezuela.
“Nigerians must appreciate the rescue mission embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the last four years. The country was a mess; governance was on auto-pilot with a President who was lukewarm towards his duties.
“The revelation by the former Prime Minister in his book (For the Record) that Jonathan refused British assistance for the rescue of the Chibok girls after they were sighted shows how the country was being managed by an incoherent leadership intent on driving her to either deliberate or irresponsible crash and wreckage.
“Even the late United States Senator John McCain alluded to this when he told CNN, few weeks after the abduction, that if he were the then US President Obama he ‘wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan’, in a clear reference to the indecision of the former President on a rescue mission.
“Which sensible President and leader would ever miss such an opportunity to save the lives of his abducted citizens.”
The group added that “the Jonathan administration simply played politics with the lives of over 200 abducted school girls at a time the world’s focus was on Nigeria
“We recall that the then Chief of Defence Staff, late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh said categorically at a pro-government rally that the military authorities had been able to pinpoint the location of the abducted school girls six weeks after the incident but ruled out military operations to rescue them at the time. Is this not a confirmation of what the former British Prime Minister said?
“The former President clearly made a mockery of serious business of governance and history would not be kind to him in spite of efforts to obfuscate issues with Nigeria’s rejection of gay marriage bill.
“We are also not surprised that Cameron claimed that Jonathan had turned the war against insurgency into a feast for his military chiefs.
“It only confirmed investigations carried out by the Buhari administration and the consequent prosecution of several senior military officers who helped themselves to funds meant for the war against terrorism, aside from dipping into it to fund the expensive lifestyles of PDP leaders and their friends.
“The mess left by PDP and Jonathan crumbled the country. Of course, this is not a complaint, but we are only keen on ensuring Nigerians understand where we are coming from, and why the process of resuscitation is tedious, even though we are seeing steady recovery.
“Is it not instructive that it took President Buhari coming on board for Nigeria to secure the release and rescue of 82 of the abducted Chibok girls and is still doing all that is within his powers to secure the other girls still in captivity.
“Just imagine what could have happened if his predecessor had the presence of mind to accede to Britain’s request to help with a rescue mission soon after the April 2014 abduction?
“We recall and also invite Nigerians to remember how the Buhari administration swung into action to ensure the release of some students that were abducted by the same group in Dapchi, Yobe state within days of the unfortunate incident.
“It is this determination, seriousness in the business of governance and high sense of responsibility that led to the Buhari government being able to secure the eventual release of all the Dapchi girls, save Leah Sharibu, who the President has sworn to ensure her release,” the statement concluded.