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How US, France, Israel Stopped Jonathan


News » Politics
Nigeria

May.19.2014

Last-minute advice from some foreign intelligence services, who are currently part of the efforts to free the over 200 abducted schoolgirls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, stopped President Jonathan from embarking on the trip to Chibok on Friday. They termed the trip “ill-advised and contemptuous”. LEADERSHIP gathered that the initial plan of the president was to visit Chibok early on Friday before heading for Paris, France, where he is currently attending a security summit.

A Presidency source hinted that the president’s planned trip to the troubled town was against the initial advice of Nigeria’s security and intelligence community.

The aborted visit have elicited varied reactions from sections of the country even as the media have been awash with different slants of reports regarding the cancelled visit.

Presidential spokesman Dr Rueben Abati had, in his twitter account, said that there was no such planned visit to Chibok.

Abati’s denial of a planned visit came amidst reports that the presidential advance team had already arrived in Maiduguri for President Jonathan’s visit, just as Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State reportedly cut short his trip to London in order to receive the president.

Jonathan had been expected to fly on one of his presidential jets from Abuja to Maiduguri, and then head to Chibok in a military helicopter. Chibok is about 130 kilometres to the south of the state capital. To get to Chibok via Maiduguri, an intending traveller must first traverse the strait of the Sambisa Forest.

The source disclosed that some of the president’s men insisted on the visit even after some egg-heads in the nation’s intelligence community hinted of “possible mix-up in intentions” of the visit.

“We all know how these things work; there is no way the media would have reported the visit if arrangements were not made in that regards.

If not, why did the presidential media team not issue a statement to debunk the report about the visit when it was first published on Thursday?

“One would expect them to say no, Mr President is not going to Chibok rather than waiting for today (yesterday) to say so. The truth of the matter is that the idea of the visit was first mooted last week but some highly-placed security chiefs advised against it on the grounds that such a visit was not auspicious.

“But you know our politicians: they want to score points with every little issue and they mounted pressure on the president to embark on the trip, maybe for reasons that may be in the interest of their intentions. As professionals, ours is to advise and the records are there that at least we did advise. Only God knows what some persons wanted to achieve by insisting on the presidential trip to Chibok.

“But luckily for us, some of our foreign partners in the search for the abducted girls had to also intervene after processing some of our findings that there were likely to be protests both in Maiduguri and Chibok. To them, the planned visit was not only ill-advised but contemptuous and these facts were laid before the appropriate quarters before the dawn on Friday,” he said.

LEADERSHIP learnt that the foreign intelligence network specifically advised against President Jonathan’s trip on the strength of what they called “the international media angle to the Chibok saga”. A particular foreign media giant had dispatched a team to cover the visit and “attendant events”.

Article Credit: Leadership

Updated 4 Years ago
 

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