The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan
on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe has described the Chibok
girsl issue as one of profound national tragedy.
He also discouraged the countdown to when the girls will be
rescued, saying “you cannot put a tenure to what you must
“When you have over 200 hostages, it is bad business.
The hostages are not kept in one place, which makes it more
So, do not let us go into the sentimentality of when
government will bring the girls back.
We are in a war situation, it is a very dicey circumstance but
when you are talking of safety of lives, you cannot put
tenure to what you must endure, to save a life and that is
why we must stop counting,” the presidential aide said.
“It is unnecessary, it does not help us, it does not help the
If it helps anybody, it encourages the insurgents and I don’t
think that is the intention of anybody anywhere,” he added.
Okupe, who was at the Vanguard headquarters in Lagos on a
courtesy visit, while commenting on the fate of the girls who
were kidnapped from their school by terror group, Boko
Haram, on April 14 said “it is a very lamentable situation
and an issue of profound national tragedy.
It is not an issue of finding or when are we finding the girls.
The media has got on the wrong side of it.
“The real issue is that we are in a war situation and at the
beginning, I am not sure that everybody accepted that
Some people are waging a very serious war against Nigeria,
nothing is worse than war.
When you are in a war situation, anything happens.
Murder, cold blooded murder, wanton destruction of
property, kidnapping, defiling, you can name it.
Even the best armies in the world commit such terrible
It is recorded in history.
“So, a war situation is a bad situation, that is why I said that
it is not about finding the girls alone.
When you are in a war situation, all the things I have said
The misfortune we have is that we had these girls taken
away violently and it is extremely painful.
“If all these months and days, Boko Haram has not killed the
girls and there is no information that the girls have been
killed, it means there is a reason they are holding them and
they have not killed them.
“We are not going to encourage them or create a situation
where the girls are going to be killed.
That was why the government took a lot of effort and took
the bait when Chad offered an olive branch, unfortunately,
nothing came out of it.
“That shows you that government is caring, this
government, even at the risk of its reputation, is willing to go
and do anything possible to release the girls but we are in a
war situation,” Okupe said.