Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has alleged that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan prevented British forces from engaging in the rescue of Chibok schoolgirls in Borno State.
Cameron, in his recently published memoir, ‘For the Record’, revealed that he saw the entire incident as cheap politics, adding that he expected Jonathan to handle the Chibok issue better.
His claim comes two years after the Observer newspaper reported that Nigeria shunned international offers to rescue the girls.
The newspaper reported that while Nigeria welcomed an aid package and assistance from the US, the UK and France in looking for the girls, it viewed any action to be taken against kidnapping as a “national issue.”
Cameron, who was in office at the time of the abduction, said British troops traced the location of some of the victims and offered to help but Jonathan refused, The Cable reports.
Cameron wrote, “In early 2014 a group of its fighters entered the government secondary school in the village of Chibok, seizing 276 teenage girls. They were taken to camps deep in the forest. The Christians among them were forced to convert to Islam. Many were sold as slaves, entering the same endless violent nightmare the Yazidi women suffered.
“As ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign spread across the world, we embedded a team of military and intelligence experts in Nigeria, and sent spy planes and tornadoes with thermal imaging to search for the missing girls. And, amazingly, from the skies above a forest three times the size of Wales, we managed to locate some of them.”
“But Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicising the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused.”