President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday admonished protesters
terrorists activities not to policise their protests in the country.
Jonathan gave the admonition when he received “Bring Back our Girls” protesters at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
protesters, numbering about 150 were led by former Minister of
Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesiele. The protesters were demanding the release
of the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno.
NAN reports that
Jonathan was represented by a delegation of Ministers and Presidential
Advisers led by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of
In a address read by Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide,
Minister of State for FCT, Jonathan said the campaign was just and
government identified with it,
Jonathan said that because he
identified with the protest, he had sent such a delegation of more than
10 ministers and many presidential advisers to receive the protesters.
He, however, cautioned against the possibility of hijacking such protests for political and selfish motives.
president added that protests against terrorism should be directed
against the terrorists and should not be used as a blame games.
emphasised that there must be a united movement for the release of the
girls which should be turned to a united action against terrorism.
appeal to your group and others that your genuine patriotic zeal is
matched with the realistic understanding of the situation in expressing
concerns and sentiments on this matter and other matters of terrorism.
believes that we must all come together to fight terrorism and that
protest should be directed at the terrorists who have abducted our
daughters and deprived them of a place at the fountain of freedom in our
“When terrorists see Nigerians turned on each other in
blame, it gives them a huge morale boost. We must never lose sight of
the fact that the terrorists are the real enemies.
“We must not
politicise the protests. When a bomb detonates in Baghdad, Kabul,
Afghanistan, the people there do not blame the government, they blame
“When a bomb blows up in Nigeria, we must all unite to fight the terrorists. This is the task of this generation,’’ he said.
said that contrary to perception in certain quarters, his
administration responded swiftly to the kidnap of the girls by immediate
deployment of security after the abductors.
mobilised resources, military and diplomatic in the search for the girls
who had suffered so much trauma in captivity.
“Government took action the very day the kidnapping occurred by deploying security services to go after the abductors.
president meets with the security chiefs almost daily and it is in
constant consultation with regional and global partners on the kidnap,”
He also underscored the need for Nigerians to encourage the military and stop castigating them.
“Our security forces are among the best trained in Africa and they are making so mush sacrifices in the fight against terror.
we sleep daily, they are in the field confronting the enemy, they need
our support, not attacks and discouragement. They are also losing their
lives for us.”
Jonathan encouraged civil society groups to use
their influence to encourage Nigerians to supply useful information to
security services using the emergency number 112.
appreciated the orderly manner they organised the protest and thanked
all local and international groups that had protested the senseless
He noted that with the protest, the right of assembly had not been violated but protected.
of the leaders of the protest and wife of former Chief Justice of
Nigeria, Mrs Maryam Uwais, had read a letter dated 11 May and directed
to the president.
In the letter, they underscored the need for
government to double its efforts at rescuing the girls and made proposal
on solution to terrorism.
NAN reports that the letter was handed over to the SGF for onward delivery to the president.
The protesters also took turns to ask 10 questions from the delegation.
questions related to the need for government to establish the
authenticity of the abduction and the need for regular update on the
They also asked questions on the actions taken
after the president returned from France, the effectiveness of the state
of emergency and whether government would negotiate with Boko Haram.
group requested to know the level of collaboration between the Federal
and state governments in the rescue efforts and what government was
doing to protect schools from attacks.
Source: PM News