Former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said ex-President Goodluck Jonathan refused help from his country to rescue 274 schoolgirls who were kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014.
Mr Cameron, in his memoir ‘For The Record’, said British troops traced the location of some of the victims and offered to help but Mr Jonathan was more concerned about attacking campaigners over it.
Iraq wasn’t the only place we would need our military to counter this extremist menace. Boko Haram in Nigeria was linked to al-Qaeda, and believed Western education and lifestyles were a sin (the meaning behind its name). It too wanted to institute a caliphate, and like ISIS it would use whatever barbaric means it thought necessary,” Cameron wrote.
“In early 2014 a group of its fighters centered 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.”
Since Jonathan left office, some of the girls have, however, been returned to their families. Cameron said he felt ‘depressed’ that a good number of the girls were still in Boko Haram captivity.