Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to a statement allegedly made by the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh over his recent meeting the parents of the abducted schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State.
Vanguard reports that while Obasanjo was speaking on television on Wednesday night, he condemned the CDS’s statement saying that Badeh was engaging in public relations at the expense of the parents of the abducted Chibok girls.
It was also gathered that President Obasanjo dismissed reports that he was launching a solitary mission to rescue the abducted Chibok girls noting that he could not have engaged on the mission without the consent of the presidency.
Commenting on Badeh’s statement that the military knows where the abducted girls are, Obasanjo said: “The military has got a lot of hard knocks particularly on the issue of Boko Haram and particularly the issue of the abducted girls made the military to try a little bit of public relations, maybe.
* CDS Alex Badeh
“But this is not an issue that you will do propaganda with. It is a serious issue, it is like spear in the heart of the parents and whatever statement we make and whatever action that we take, if we cannot really deal with the issue in a way that would bring those girls safe and secure and make their families happy and will also give every Nigerian a sense of security, then such statements should not be made.”
The former military Head of State said he would be happily surprised if the Boko Haram insurgents are still keeping the schoolgirls in one place.
On the motives of the Islamist terror group, Obasanjo said: “They have been in existence for years. When I went to Maiduguri and I asked them, how long have you been in existence, they said they were in existence even when I was in government.”
“They said that their objective is sharia and when I was in government, I was going with governance and I didn’t disturb their sharia because sharia is part of our constitution.”
* Ex-President Obasanjo
The leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, had stated in an online video that the kidnapped girls would not be freed unless in an exchange for some of his members captured by the Nigerian soldiers.
A demand, the Nigerian federal government led by President Goodluck Jonathan said its not ready to meet.
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