By Charles Kumolu
LAGOS—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s response to the recent abduction of no fewer than 110 students of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram insurgents, evokes a curious reminder of the sentiment expressed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to the 2014-abduction of 276 Chibok girls by the sect.
Apart from the earlier denial of the Chibok incident by the Jonathan administration, the quality of communication that has emerged from President Buhari-led government, shares striking similarities with what transpired in the Jonathan era.
Vanguard recalls that Jonathan did not visit Chibok while President Buhari is yet to visit Dapchi.
Just the way the All Progressives Congress, APC, in its former capacity as an opposition party, urged Jonathan to visit Chibok, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged Buhari to do the same.
With the timing of the latest incident and the manner in which it was carried out not differing from the Chibok saga, many are concerned that the President’s response had same imprints with Jonathans.
Consider this: Jonathan first spoke on the Chibok incident 20 days after in the wake of international and domestic criticisms.
On his part, President Buhari spoke publicly about the abducted Dapchi girls, four days after they were taken into captivity.
Buhari in his response said: “When I received the devastating news of the attack on the school and the fact that the local authorities could not account for all the students, I immediately dispatched a high-level delegation on a fact-finding visit to the town. I also instructed the security agencies to deploy in full and not spare any effort to ensure that all the girls are returned safely, and the attackers arrested and made to face justice.
“The entire country stands as one with the girls’ families, the government and the people of Yobe State. This is a national disaster. We are sorry that this could have happened and share your pain. We pray that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return your missing family members.
“Our government is sending more troops and surveillance aircraft to keep an eye on all movements in the entire territory on a 24-hour basis, in the hope that all the missing girls will be found.”
Jonathan, whose choice of words in his reaction inspired hope but achieved little, said: “Wherever these girls are, we will get them out. What we request is maximum cooperation from the guardians and the parents of these girls. It is a trying time for this country. It is painful. You don’t negotiate with somebody you don’t know. The issue of negotiation has not come up.”