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Monday, September 25, 2023

Nigerian high com reacts to Madi Jobarteh


Speaking in a Standard exclusive at her office yesterday, High Commissioner Esther John Audu, said the statements by Mr Jobarteh, who is currently in Nigeria, lending support to the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign, was “unfortunate”.

In the Thursday edition of this paper, Mr Jobarteh who is also the deputy director of Tango, said: “The Boko Haram case has proven once more the lack of good leadership and the weak capacity of African governments that I always lament. It is a shame that the Nigerian government would be sitting down as if they do not realise their obligation to their people”.

But speaking on the sidelines of a solidarity visit to her office by officials of Gamcotrap and the Child Protection Alliance, High Commissioner Esther Audu asserted: “He [Madi] is not in Nigeria and he is not the Nigerian government. I would say that it is unfortunate that a statement like this is coming from a deputy director at Tango. I think he should be in a better position to know what leadership is and for a leader to be able to handle issues like this. A tree cannot make a forest. The Nigerian government alone cannot be a forest. It requires other people to join hands like His Excellency, the President has called upon all other people to join hands in helping to see that this is properly and fully handled. I would prefer a situation where somebody would say words that would be encouraging to the government of Nigeria. Not discouraging statements.

 “We are the government here on the ground for Nigeria. If he is talking about what happened back home I think the best result will be from us. Maybe he does not know that this is a security issue and security issues are not issues you let out in the open. It is like when you want to catch a fish and start telling the fish that I am coming from the left or right. These are sensitive issues. These are problems that require tactics. You need a lot of tactics and technicalities that are involved in it. You need information and wisdom to be able to curb situations like this so that you don’t harm yourself or those that you are trying to protect. For this, it’s not every strategy of government that you let in the open”.

Thanking Gamcotrap and the CPA for their show of solidarity, she commented: “We cannot thank you enough for your concern and commitment… It is unfortunate that Africa that is supposed to be thinking of how to catch up with the emerging economies like Asia is going through this kind of problems today. It is unfortunate that Nigeria which is the stronghold of Africa is where these attacks are beginning from. Although there has been the spread and  experience  of this kind of activities in other countries like Mali  but the kind of shock that we have today because of this act is so deadly in such a way that there is nobody who will come out to support it”.

Gamcotrap director, Dr Isatou Touray, said: “We have observed the escalation of this phenomenon, which started from 11 girls progressing to over 200. We also realised the impunity of the Boko Haram militants in further capturing another 8 girls and also 300 more without paying heed to the public outcry and condemnation coming from all corners of the world. This should be a cause of concern for all of our countries. 

“No country should remain complacent given the current trend of abuses meted on girls in the name of religion. These girls have been subjected to various forms of abuse including but not limited to sex slavery, forced marriage as well as selling them out as mere commodities. The leader of Boko Haram said: ‘I abducted your girls, I will sell them’. This is a serious breach of the principles to which Islam is founded upon. Islam respects the dignity of the person, especially women, and it’s clearly stipulated in the Holy Qur’an.”


By Alagie Manneh


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