Thursday 14 January 2016

Buhari Orders Journalists Out Of BBOG Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday ordered journalists out of his meeting with parents of the abducted Chibok girls and members of the Bringbackourgirls movement. Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, who voiced the order, said the reason was due to some “sensitive issues” that were to be discussed. 

A galaxy of journalists who had turned up for the meeting thronged out of the banquet hall, venue of the meeting, in quick steps. Earlier, the group and the parents had refused to leave when they were told that the president would not meet with them. 

The protesters insisted on seeing the president, who had promised, on July 8, to rescue the abducted schoolgirls. The president, whom Shehu said was at a meeting at the time the protesters arrived at the villa, sent Aisha Alhassan, minister of women affairs, as his representative to them. But Alhassan took shots at the Chibok parents and the BBOG for not giving the government prior notice of their coming. In response, Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education and leader of the BBOG, accused the minister of not being fair. “You have been very unfair to us,” she said. “I don’t understand why you can be chiding the parents and the movement. These parents were triggered by the words of the president who promised to rescue their daughters.”

While she was still speaking, Shehu interrupted her to announce that the president would now meet the protesters. Mohammed Monguno, national security adviser; Mohammed Dan Ali, minister of defence, and Gabriel Olonishakin, chief of defence staff were in the government delegation that received the group. When the president eventually arrived, he ordered journalists out of the meeting.

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