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Mixed reaction trails Pocock’s revelation on Chibok girls


Mr.Andrew Pocock
Mixed reaction is trailing the revelation by former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, on the whereabouts of the kidnapped Chibok girls.

While some Nigerians, including security experts, yesterday lauded the decision of the U.S and British governments to withhold action on rescuing the 80 girls that were spotted, others were of the opinion that these foreign allies should have informed the Nigerian government of their discoveries with or without invitation from the Nigerian government.

Air Commodore Dalington Abdullahi (rtd), told The Guardian that the decision to stay action on the matter by the U.S and the U.K was a right one. “This is not coming as a surprise. It’s a very risky thing to go all out to rescue them when you are not 100 per cent sure you can rescue them alive. You will not want to attempt it. A lot of care needed to be taken. Nobody will want to embark on such operation when he is not sure of rescuing the girls alive. The problem has been how to rescue them alive. It’s been difficult because of the risk. It’s not anything new. This has been said severally that efforts to rescue them have been difficult because of the risks to their lives,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Security Nigeria, Kabiru Adamu, pointed out that the problem with the foreign governments sharing intelligence with Nigeria at the time was that of trust. He noted that the foreign governments did not trust the Nigerian government enough, especially with former President Goodluck Jonathan saying at the time that his administration was infiltrated by Boko Haram. This, according to Adamu, may have caused the trust issue, hence the decision to keep mum on the discovery.

“The statement suggested that they were in a difficult position where they cited the girls but didn’t know where the others were, so if they attempted to rescue the 80 girls they spotted, it would expose the others to be killed”, he said.

He, however, was of the opinion that they should have contacted the Nigerian government anyway. “I will be frank, and putting it in the context of what may have happened at the time, they saw the girls. My understanding is that in liaison arrangements, they could have contacted the Nigerian government to relay what the situation was and a decision would have been taken by the Nigerian government based on certain principles, one of them being in the interest of the citizens of the country. The question is why didn’t they trust the Nigerian government enough to provide that kind of information and sit down as allies and take a decision. For obvious reasons they didn’t do that”.

“A couple of questions may come up, what surveillance capacity did they use in seeing those girls and if we go back to the period it happened, we knew that the Americans had drones and the United Kingdom had fly-ons that were going round that area. But the bottom line is that there was no confidence in them relaying that information to the Nigerian side.

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