David Cameron accuses Jonathan of rejecting UK offer to rescue Chibok girls

Cameron says Jonathan at first accused the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners of politicising the tragedy instead of searching for the girls.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of turning down offer by UK to rescue Chibok girls. (Punch)

Cameron, in his book titled, ‘For the Record’ said the British troops spotted the location of the schoolgirls and offered to rescue them but Jonathan refused. 

“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.”

“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,” Cameron wrote in his book.

The ex-British Prime Minister also said that the Nigerian Army was unable to participate in the operations organised by the US and UK to rescue the girls because of “politically appointed generals”.

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