A former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and Goodluck Jonathan are in war of words over the former president of Nigeria attitude towards rescuing the girls abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists in April 2014.
According to Cameron, Jonathan prevented British forces from engaging in rescue efforts as he seemed to see the entire incident as cheap politics.
Jonathan responding to the allegations in a statement said Cameron has been nursing grudges against him since he refused to legalise same sex marriage in Nigeria.
In his recently published memoir, ‘For the Record’, Cameron, who was in office at the time of the abduction, said British troops traced the location of some of the victims and offered to help but Jonathan refused.
Cameron wrote, “In early 2014, a group of fighters entered Government Secondary School in the village of Chibok, seizing 276 teenage girls.
“They were taken to camps deep in the forest. The Christians among them were forced to convert to Islam. Many were sold as slaves, entering the same endless violent nightmare the Yazidi women suffered.
“As ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign spread across the world, we embedded a team of military and intelligence experts in Nigeria, and sent spy planes and tornadoes with thermal imaging to search for the missing girls. And, amazingly, from the skies above a forest three times the size of Wales, we managed to locate some of them.
“But Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicising the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused.”
According to Jonathan statement, “I do, however, know that Mr. Cameron has long nursed deep grudges against me for reasons that have been published in various media.
“On July 24, 2013, while celebrating the passage of the United Kingdom’s Marriage (Same Sex \Couples) Act, 2013, Mr. Cameron said “I want to export gay marriage around the world”At that occasion, he boasted that he would send the team that successfully drafted and promoted the ill, to nations, like Nigeria, saying inter alia: ‘I’ve told the Bill team I’m now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation.’
“As President of Nigeria at that time, I came under almost unbearable pressure from the Cameron administration to pass legislation supporting LGBTQ Same Sex marriage in Nigeria. My conscience could not stomach that, because as President of Nigeria, I swore on the Bible to advance Nigeria’s interests, and not the interest of the United Kingdom or any foreign power.
“As such, on Monday, January 13, 2014, I signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law after the Bill had been passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Nigeria’s parliament, in line with the wishes of the Nigerian people. This happened shortly after a study of 39 nations around the world by the U.S. Pew Research Center came up with a finding which indicated that 98 percent of Nigerians were opposed to the idea of Gay Marriage.
“Immediately after I took this patriotic action, my government came under almost unbearable pressure from Mr. Cameron, who reached me through envoys, and made subtle and not so subtle threats against me and my government.
The ex-president also said Cameron’s claim that he appointed generals based on political considerations is a lie, saying he appointed people based on their professional pedigree.
Jonathan wondered how Cameron claimed he appointed his service chiefs politically when he had to sack them twice in five years to show how much he wanted them to defeat Boko Haram terrorists in the country.
He said, “He accused me of appointing Generals based on political considerations. How could that be when I fired my service chiefs twice in five years, to show that I would not tolerate anything less than meaningful progress in the war on terror.”
“I was completely blind to ethnic or political considerations in my appointments. In civil and military matters, I appointed people that I had never even met prior to appointing them, based on their professional pedigree. Though I was from the South, most of my service chiefs came from the North.
On the issue of corruption, Jonathan said Cameron is not competent enough to rate his administration.
The ex-president said during his administration in 2014, Nigeria made her best ever improvement on the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, moving from 144 the previous year, to 136, an eight point improvement.