Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri has defended former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on efforts he made to crush Boko Haram and contain insecurity, particularly in the north.
The defence was, obviously, in response to claim by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, that he did not cooperate with foreign powers when they offered to rescue Chibok girls.
Onwurili, who is Imo State Commissioner for Education, said contrary to the misconceptions, the former president committed resources, intelligence, manpower to solve security problem in Nigeria.
The former minister, who delivered a paper titled, “Sustainable development and dwindling security in Nigeria: The role of alumni associations” at the 59th anniversary of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), said the former British Prime Minister, must have spoken out of misinformation.
“My boss (Jonathan) has responded to him. But considering the damage the statement was set to achieve, it is expedient for me, as a participant in that administration, to add that former president, Jonathan, had sleepless nights over the kidnap of the schoolgirls in April, 2014.
“He deplored everything he possibly could to ensure the release of the girls. He solicited international support from USA, Britain, France, but they refused to sell arms to Nigeria. Rather, they listened to negative campaign against the president by the opposition party then.
“Jonathan had no option but to buy arms from elsewhere, much to the chagrin of the world powers. As foreign affairs minister then, I recall several diplomatic shuttles we made at the instance of President Jonathan, seeking international help to ensure the safe return of the girls.”