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Chibok parents ‘didn’t come to Abuja to see Jonathan’

Chibok parents ‘didn’t come to Abuja to see Jonathan’
July 16
17:54 2014

Members of the Kibaku (Chibok) Area Development Association — the representatives of the Chibok parents and the girls whose meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan was cancelled — have said that the parents did not come to Abuja for a meeting with the president.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, the group clarified that instead of wanting a meeting with the president, the Chibok parents back home whose daughters were kidnapped on April 14 were wondering why the president had not visited them.

The group also disclosed that the parents did not come to Abuja on the request of the president, but at the instance of girl-child education advocate, Malala Yousafzai.

“The logistics and meeting between the 12 fathers and five girls and Malala was facilitated by the Abuja Chibok community and the citizens’ platform of BringBackOurGirls with our consent and on trust considering their sustained and focused advocacy to bring back our daughters,” they said.

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“These parents and escaped girls did not come to Abuja at the instance of government or its representatives for a meeting with Mr. President, but on the full understanding that they were coming to meet with Malala, an advocate of girl child education and most importantly, one who has suffered a similar fate as their daughters.'”

They said that in the course of the interactions with Malala, neither the parents nor the escaped girls asked for a meeting with the president or any government functionary; rather, the narrative back home was to persistently ask why the president has not visited them in Chibok since the abduction.

“It is obvious that their numbers of 12 fathers and 5 girls is about 2% of the parents of the 219 abducted girls still with their abductors and the 57 girls that escaped. Therefore, these parents decided on their own accord to review the announced visit, which they FIRST heard of like every other person during Malala’s speech at Hilton,” they said.

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They added “that consequent to their decision to revert to other family members in order to incorporate every stakeholder on the matter as well as avoid discord and suspicion on a change of plans from the original mission to Abuja, they reached out to the Malala team, and through them to the presidency to request a new date for an expanded and more representative meeting that has a legitimate mandate to meet with the president.

“That their request is also in recognition of the huge opportunity of a meeting with the president for the first time and after over 90 days of the tragic abduction of their daughters, and therefore required better consultations, structure and formality as against an instant advocacy request.

“That it is totally misleading, unjust and without foundation to hold the citizens’ platform BringBackOurGirls responsible for the decision made by the 12 parents and our community. We therefore take full responsibility for our decision and welcome the formal invitation by the presidency as a follow up to Malala’s visit, which we received this morning.”

On Monday, the presidency announced that a meeting between Jonathan and five of the 57 girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity and their parents would hold on Wednesday.

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However, on Wednesday, the girls and their parents boycotted the meeting, forcing the president to cancel it.

 

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