More than two months after over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State, the federal government has said former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has unimpeded access to President Goodluck Jonathan to contribute to the release of the schoolgirls.
It could be recalled that Obansanjo had said last week that his efforts to negotiate the release of the abducted schoolgirls had been hampered by lack of support from the Nigerian government.
The former Head of State also said that some of the girls might never return to their parents and those that do might come back pregnant.
* Kidnapped schoolgirls in Borno
However, Thisday reports that the Coordinator of the National Information Centre and Director General National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, said Obasanjo has free access to President Jonathan without waiting for the permission of the presidency to negotiate the release of the schoolgirls
Omeri was reported to have made this clarification while responding to enquiries on the statement credited to Obasanjo.
According to Omeri, the former president does not need anybody’s permission to embark on issues of national importance such as negotiations for the release of the Chibok girls with members of Boko Haram.
The NOA boss also said Obasanjo has unfettered access to the president and the necessary platform to get his message across.
It could recalled that the presidency had invited former heads of state on Boko Haram last week and only Obasanjo did not attend the meeting.
* Ex-President Obasanjo
According to Omeri, these are platforms Obasanjo could actually go to and explain or seek the kind of clearance he said he needed to do the job that he had elected to do for Nigeria.
It was also gathered that some sources in the presidency questioned the sincerity of Obasanjo in the ongoing abduction saga in Borno State.
The sources said the former president was playing games with the whole counter-terrorism efforts and knew more than meets the eyes.
The presidential source traced Obasanjo’s comments on the Chibok girls to his know-it-all attitude, stating: “He must know all and be all. If it’s not me, it is nobody else and that is why he is working tirelessly to undermine the administration.
“He does not want any government to be better than his own and goes all out to frustrate, criticise and sabotage his successors. Look at him going up and down blackmailing the government that they must follow his script.”
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major-General Chris Olukolade, refused to comment when asked about the matter on the phone.
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