Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria

Former president Goodluck Jonathan says it is not true that he refused help from the British government to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls from Boko Haram.

The Observer of London had reported that the Jonathan-led administration rejected the offer of British armed forces to help in rescuing the girls, who were abducted in April 2014.

However, Jonathan in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Eze, his media adviser said the report was not true.

“Our attention has been drawn to a report that has been trending, without proper attribution, to the effect that the last administration rebuffed British offer to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls,” he said.

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“We wish to promptly point out that nothing can be further from the truth, as Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the Jonathan administration towards rescuing the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community.

“We can confidently say that the lies in this report are self evident. This is because the international press as well as the Nigeria media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with our own security operatives, and those of our neighbours.”

The statement further said there were meetings between local operatives and those from other countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

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“In fact, the Jonathan administration was so genuinely supportive that the foreign powers involved were granted permission to overfly our airspace, while conducting the search and rescue missions,” he said.

“We would wish to recall that this collaboration was made possible following letters personally written by former president Jonathan to Barack Obama, former president of the United States; Francois Hollande, president of France, David Cameron, former British prime minister, as well as personal contacts made to the Governments of Israel and China, seeking their assistance in the search for the abducted Chibok girls.”

Jonathan attributed the “concocted story” to people “who have been playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls”.

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“We are not surprised that this kind of concocted story is coming out at this point in time, as it appears that some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest,” he said