The co-ordinator of the National Information Centre and DG National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mike Omeri, yesterday said former President Olusegun Obasanjo does not need any clearance from President Goodluck Jonathan before engaging in dialogue with Boko Haram over the release of the more than 200 school girls abducted by the sect.
He said the Federal Government will be happy to receive suggestions from Nigerians on how to secure the release of the Chibok girls.
Omeri, who spoke in Abuja at the daily briefing, said he wondered why the ex-president would be waiting for any formal approval from President Goodluck Jonathan when, in actual sense, he had unrestricted access to him (Jonathan).
Omeri, who expressed surprise at the development said “the government has not stopped any individual who has access to the sect not to come forward and intervene in this matter.
“In our last briefing, we reiterated that there are three options opened to the government to find these abducted girls, and the first is that any individual with access to the sect should help the government in securing the release of the girls. Second is for the army, in collaboration with our international allies, to secure their release and for the insurgents to voluntarily release the girls.
“If he actually said so, that means he has superior equipment to those of the government and its allies.
“Besides, as a respectable statesman and a former President, I think he has unfettered access to the President to discuss this. I don’t think the pages of newspapers are the appropriate avenue to make the claims that he has access to the insurgents. I sincerely don’t understand this”, he said.
Omeri said surveillance and patrols by land and air of troops are still ongoing in the entire mission area of the North East and other parts of the federation to curtail the activities of terrorists and armed groups.
“There have been occasional encounters necessitating continous cordon and search in many locations”, he said
“In the same vein, consultations and contacts are still on-going with partners who have offered to support Nigeria’s endeavours to resolve the issues on the abduction of the Chibok girls as well as terrorism generally.
“Against this backdrop, the Nigerian military is in discussion with its counterpart from Sri Lanka in addition to other countries”, the NOA DG said.
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