Abati claims Jonathan never planned to visit Chibok

President Goodluck Jonathan

There had been reports of a presidential visit to Chibok, the town where over 250 girls were kidnapped.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, has claimed that the president had no plans to visit Chibok on Friday.

However, presidential aides, including those who accompany Mr. Jonathan on such visits, countered Mr. Abati, saying the spokesperson was just trying to ‘save face.’

“Everybody at the Villa knows that we were asked to prepare for the Chibok trip on Thursday. Some of us in the advanced party even left yesterday,” a presidential aide, who sought anonymity as he was not authorised to speak, said.

Mr. Jonathan has been heavily criticised for failing to visit the community one month after over 250 students were kidnapped by the Boko Haram from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

Following local and international outrage at the kidnap, the international community led by the U.S. and the U.K. are assisting the Nigerian government in the search for the teenage girls with Nigerians expressing some sought of relief when the news of Mr. Jonathan’s planned visit filtered from the villa on Thursday.

Mr. Abati, however, said in a series of tweets on his twitter handle @abati1990 that the planned visit was a rumour.

His tweets came several minutes after a presidency source told the BBC that the trip was shelved for security reasons.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported what reliable presidency sources said on Thursday that Mr. Jonathan planned to stopover in Chibok on Friday before travelling to France for the security meeting.

“What do you expect Abati to say? They just cancelled the trip,” another aide at the Villa said on Friday.

Officials in the Borno government also said on Thursday that they were expecting the president on Friday, with some questioning Mr. Jonathan’s plans to fly from Maiduguri to Chibok without travelling through the bad road that links the Borno capital with the troubled community.

The federal Damboa, Chibok, Mbalala highway is yet to be constructed years after money was budgeted for it.

Borno, like Yobe and Adamawa has been under emergency rule since May last year with a renewed offensive by the Boko Haram leading to the death of over two thousand people in 2014.

Since the 2014 attacks began, including an attack on a federal school in Buni Yadi, Yobe, in February, Mr. Jonathan is yet to visit either Yobe or Borno to commensurate with families of the victims.

Security reasons
Presidency sources told the BBC that Mr. Jonathan cancelled his visit to Chibok for security reasons.

The insecurity in the troubled states is also believed to be the reason Mr. Jonathan has not visited there in 2014.

When the Buni Yadi incident occurred, several Nigerians including the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, advised the president to follow the lines of world leaders in similar climes who have experienced such disasters by visiting the school and the community to reassure the victims’ families and residents of the area of government’s support.

Almost three months after the incident, Mr. Jonathan has not visited the community and has given no reason for his inaction. All the federal government did was to shut the school and all other federal schools in Borno and Yobe.

To check the worsening insurgency in the Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, Mr. Jonathan has asked for the emergency rule in the affected states to be increased by six months starting from May 14.

Critics of the emergency rule including the governments of the affected states have, however, said they are opposed to the extension as it has not checked the atrocities of the Boko Haram.

The House of Representatives approved the extension on Thursday with the Senate set to decide on it next Tuesday.


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  • idn1

    Hahaha! Jonathan and his compatriots like Abati have turned Nigeria into a laughing stock in the committee of nations sadly at the expense of innocent lives.

    • I care

      Indeed.

  • johansen

    Abati you must not defend your oga, we know everything, the man screws up by default.

    • Ide4u

      Don’t mind Abati with his rotten teeth.

  • Night Crawler

    What else will you say, you will surely defend your oga at the top GEJ, we all know the man his being controlled

  • Bigtin

    I can’t remember any Presidential visit not publicly announced ……even the Paris trip was clearly reported by the media from the same Ruben Abati’s press release.

  • Coco B

    Gej has chicken out to visit d trouble state but sure during campaigns and rallies,he will damn d security report and visit d area

  • Adoki

    Abati: “Every trip by the President is usually pre-announced.”
    Is this guy really dumb or just plain …? Is this trip to Chibok like every other trip? Do American presidents “pre-announce” their visits to Iraq/Afghanistan? Should we then wonder about the quality of leadership in the country given the quality of ‘advisers’ in the corridors of power?

  • Akinm

    Just like Akande said “Nigeria is on Auto-Pilot.
    GEJ is really putting our country to shame

    • Ide4u

      Both at home and abroad

  • clairvoyance

    Why okupe dey talk say Gej nor go becos he dey fear shekau, Abati come hear dey talk anoda tin say the coward nor plan to visit chibok. Lie nor get expiring date for ona mouth sef. Ona nor get shame at all. A so called president dey fear to go one small community inside he own con3 Chie!! chie!

  • max

    How many times did yardua visit Niger Delta during the time of MEND?
    The Governor visited Chibok, the national security adviser and the service chiefs visited there so Jonathan must visit?
    Jonathan must visit any town that boko haram strike?
    Now Jonathan must live according to media agenda and succumb to their blackmail. Even if he has planned it and later changed his mind because of security reason and so what?
    Now Jonathan should no longer have concern over his personal life because he is the president. Why must any imbecile deny him from being a human being. Jonathan is now master of all circumstances that must prevent any misfortune from happening in Nigeria. Oh Jonathan must visit Chibok to have a taste of their plight what nonsense!!! Now the lunatic in this report said roads awarded many years and budgeted for was not done and Jonathan was the cause?
    Those displaying ignorance hatred against Jonathan must wait for 2015, join the race and contest against him. Dele Momodu tried it and got one vote.

    • Scatter

      Unlike his ogogoro drinking successor, Umaru Yar’Adua recognised the urgency to solve the Niger Delta rebelion and criminality and did what he thought right to bring about a halt to the mayhem. Dumbo Dumbo, by contrast, has been hooked on his kei-kei bottles, fiddling around while insecurity is spreading across the homeland. With creatures like you, the Black person will never make real progress.

  • Wähala

    A coward whom Pastor Bakare rescued from under Turai’s bed will never visit any place balloons are being popped, much less IED’s… not after watching Abu Skekau on video threatening his life. Nigeria has sunk to the gutter and has become the butt of jokes even on the African continent. If Gov. Shettima could visit Chibok and other sites of BH carnage with minimal security, the coward in fedora with maximum national security should be able to console the parents and people of Borno in person… but not our drunk, he always has excuse for his dereliction of sworn duties. Oko-oko !!

    • Scatter

      The greater tragedy is that he knows not that he doesn’t know the duties he has sworn to uphold.

      • Ide4u

        GEJ is the greatest disaster of this millennium in Nigeria

    • redeem

      Just like Nkrumah rescued Zik and sent him to the USA-for him Zik would have ended up hanging around Nkrumah in Accra Ghana-till they kingdom come-in Ghana-Unlike Awo who left for London and came back without the prompting of Marcus Garvey-Again when the president of Ghana late Prof Mills died- not a single Ghanaian took to the streets to protest on behalf of the present leader- President Mahama-was sworn in-in accordance with the constitution of Ghana -Besides let the journalist who were accredited for the alleged visit to Chibok show their cards-publish it-beyond that the president never undertakes a tour of such magnitude without the presidency sending d itinerary of the visit to various media houses-via a press release-from Abati-or from the headquarters of the Nigerian Army. I challenge Post ati Telecoms P&T to publish the press release sent to her by Abati for all to see-Presidential visit are never based on gossip or via sources at the presidency mumu-we call this Wole Soyinka like story-speculative journalism-wahala hope u still have some meat left with u-i mean the ones u collected from boko haram–animal

  • Excisionist

    Thousands have died in the conflict with Boko Haram and their Hausa/Fulani sponsors. Jonathan has visited many of the affected places. The girls are not dead and visiting Chibok will not make BH release them.

    Just a few days ago, soldiers were ambushed and killed near Chibok clearly demonstrating that the place is insecure. Moreover, it is believed that most Hausa/Fulani commanding officers are either Boko Haram members or sympathizers. They can easily assasinate the president, claim that it is Boko Haram and blame him for going to an insecure area of conflict. Looks like a plot well figured out. But they are not as smart as they think.

    The Islamic North is a burden too heavy to carry. Since Nigeria was amalgamated,
    all effort has been directed at pleasing the “North”. Most of the nations
    resouces have been managed and squandered by them. In return what you have
    religious insensitivity, violence against nonMuslims, Islamic terrorism, ethnic
    and religion cleansing etc.

    Delegates in the National Conference from
    South-West, South-South, South-East and North- Central Zones should not forget
    this.As long as they remain part of Nigeria, there will be no end to violence.
    They should insist on partition..

    • Scatter

      Your voice of hate and division is testimony to the dark age you belong. Go back to your bush!

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    [Thailand Military-Treatment]:The exact treatment that president Ebele Jonathan who foisters complete failed governance and massive corruption practices on Nigeria, deserves is what the no-nonsense-Thailand military meted out to the former Thailand prime minister-removal through coup-detat by Nigeria military if the military is not a conspirator with the ineffective,clueless and corrupt-ridden president Ebele Jonathan..
    Thailand is far more developed and fast developing while Nigeria sinks deeper into mis-governance,massive corruption as Nigerian military chiefs all conspired with president Ebele Jonathan to wreck havoc and deepen impoverishment and hopelessness on Nigerians.