Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The politics of kidnapped girls

It's difficult to know what politics are being played by people in Nigeria over the kidnapping of more than 200 school girls, but denials aside, everyone is being political. And the mention of money being paid to some girls' families should remind us that the potential for payments going in all directions is possible.

Nigeria parents deny playing politics over Chibok girls
Parents of the schoolgirls abducted by militant Islamists in Nigeria have denied playing politics by refusing to meet President Goodluck Jonathan.

Tuesday's meeting failed to take place because proper protocol had not been followed, their spokesman said…

Mr Jonathan was widely criticised for failing to meet distraught parents and not doing enough to rescue the girls.

On Monday, he agreed to meet 12 parents and five girls who escaped shortly after being seized by Boko Haram, following a request by Pakistani rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai.

Chibok community spokesman Dauda Iliya said the proposed meeting had been organised in a hurry, so there was not time to consult with all the parents.

Chibok residents were "very traumatised" and people had lost trust in each other, he said.

If a small number of parents suddenly announced they had met the president, they would have a "hard time" from the others, and there might be a "suspicion that money had changed hands", Mr Iliya said…

Mr Jonathan said "political forces" in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group derailed the meeting…

Chibok Girls' Families Reject Presidential Meeting, Jonathan Blames Opposition
The parents of the kidnapped Chibok students said ‘no’ to a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday… Their rejection of the Tuesday meet-up in Abuja was unexpected, and has struck a blow to the president’s ongoing charm offensive.

The meeting was a staged event organized by Levick, the Washington-based PR firm, and President Goodluck Jonathan was set to formally meet and be photographed with the families of the students abducted by Boko Haram in mid-April. 17 Chibok residents were expected to meet with the president, including five of the students who had managed to escape. However, the Borno State families, in a surprising last minute move, reportedly called it off…

In a statement issued to the national media… the president’s office blamed opposition forces for the cancellation, and put out the following:

“It now appears that our fight to get the girls of Chibok back is not only a fight against a terrorist insurgency, but also against a political opposition.”…

Chibok Girls' Parents Shun Meeting With Jonathan
Malala Yousofazai and Pres Jonathan
A meeting scheduled between President Goodluck Jonathan and parents of abducted girls in Chibok, yesterday, could not hold as the parents shunned the meeting.

The meeting was arranged after education activist and a victim of terrorist attack, Malala Yousofazai, met with President Jonathan on Monday and pleaded with the president to meet with the parents of the abducted girls to encourage them. Jonathan, in a statement delivered by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, accused the BringBackOurGirls activists of politicising the planned meeting by ferreting the parents out of Abuja before the meeting could hold…

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