President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday urged those who have been protesting the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, to henceforth direct their protest to the Boko Haram terrorists and not the government.
The President also urged the protesters to learn from citizens of other countries who do not blame their governments for any terrorist act.
He has however admitted publicly for the first time that his administration was currently consulting with some stakeholders with a view to exploring what he called alternative methods of resolving the present crisis.
Jonathan made the disclosure in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, to a team of #BringBackOurGirls campaigners, led by a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwezili.
The protesters, who had planned to take their protest to the Presidential Villa where they wanted Jonathan to address them were restricted by security agents to the Federal Secretariat within the Three Arms Zone, a few metres from the Villa gate.
Those who joined Akinjide in the delegation that represented Jonathan at the rally included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; Minister of Women Affairs, Zaynab Maina; and Minister of Environment, Lawrencia Laraba.
Others were the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Sarah Jubiril; Special Adviser on
Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati; and the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, among others.
Jonathan, in the speech, said his administration was working hard, in conjunction with the international community, to rescue the abducted girls and end terrorism.
He said it was wrong and unfair to say that there was a slow response to the abduction.
He said, “It is wrong and most unfair to suggest that there was a slow reaction to this kidnapping. As Commander-in-Chief, Mr. President meets with the security chiefs almost daily and he is on constant consultation with regional and global partners on this terrorists’ threat.
“We must be careful not to politicise the campaign against terrorism. When a bomb goes off in Kabul, Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan do not blame the government, they blame the terrorists.
“When a bomb goes off in Bagdad, Iraq, the people of Iraq do not blame the government, they blame the terrorists.
“When a bomb goes off in Islamabad, Pakistan, the people of Pakistan do not blame the government, they blame the terrorists.
“When a bomb goes off in Nigeria, we must all unite to fight the terrorists.”