Jonathan, US envoy meet on Chibok girls’ rescue operation

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President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday met behind closed doors in Abuja with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle.

The meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum for Africa, was meant to discuss the modalities for the actualisation of the offer made by President Barrack Obama to assist Nigeria in rescuing the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the meeting was a follow-up to talks held on Wednesday between Entwistle and Nigerian security officials on the United States offer of assistance.

Abati quoted the President as reiterating Nigeria’s appreciation of the US offer to deploy security personnel and assets to work with their Nigerian counterparts in the search and rescue operation, which was conveyed to him on Tuesday by the US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry.

“The President told Mr. Entwistle and other delegations which met separately with him at the venue of the World Economic Forum that the much greater support which Nigeria was receiving from the United States and other members of the international community in the aftermath of the Chibok abductions, will certainly help the country to rapidly overcome the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Others received by President Jonathan include the President of Ghana, John Mahama and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo who brought him a message of solidarity from ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

“President Mahama informed President Jonathan that to support Nigeria’s efforts to rescue the abducted girls and defeat terrorism, ECOWAS leaders have decided to invoke the community’s protocols on counter-terrorism.

“The Ghanaian leader said that a meeting of Heads of Intelligence Services of ECOWAS member-countries will hold in Accra next week to work out a new framework for intelligence sharing in support of the effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism in Nigeria and the entire West African Sub-Region.”

Abati said the President also had private meetings with the founder of the WEF, Prof. Klaus Schwab, who said Nigeria deserved the maximum solidarity of the world at this trying moment.

The presidential spokesman said Jonathan later met with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, former President Lula Da Silva of Brazil and the Prime Minister of Mali, Moussa Mara.

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