Chibok girls: South Africans boo Jonathan in Pretoria
President Goodluck Jonathan’s perceived mishandling of the case of the more than 200 school girls abducted by Boko Haram in Borno State got further knocks yesterday in South Africa.
Crowd at the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma for a second term in office registered their disapproval of government’s inability to rescue the girls one month after, with boos of “Bring back our girls” directed at President Jonathan as he stepped into the venue of the swearing in.
By his side was the First Lady, Patience.
And for a moment, Nigeria became the issue at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, where the late Nelson Mandela who became South Africa’s first black president, took the oath of office 20 years ago in a ceremony officially ending white minority rule.
President Jonathan was one of the more than 20 heads of state gathered for the event.
Aside the shouts of “Bring back our girls” a non-governmental organisation – The Concerned Young People of SA (Cypsa) – handed out pamphlets at yesterday’s ceremony calling for the release of the kidnapped schoolgirls.
The pamphlets were entitled Umphakathi Ukhathazekile (The society is concerned).
“Now Nigeria. Who’s next? “, read a message on the pamphlet.
“Where can we hide our girls from Boko [Haram]?” read another excerpt on the pamphlet.
President Jonathan was due to hold talks last night with other African leaders in Pretoria on the security situation in Nigeria.
Spokesman for the South African Government Clayson Monyela said the African leaders would meet to discuss security in Nigeria.
The talks follow a spate of attacks in Nigeria, which is under growing international pressure to tackle the increasingly bloody uprising.
Earlier in the week, President Yoweri Musoveni of Uganda had expressed disappointment at the failure of the Nigerian government and the army to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
Museveni, a former guerrilla leader said it was inconceivable that he would seek foreign help to protect Ugandans.
“I have never called the United Nations to guard your security. Me, Yoweri Museveni to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call in the UN….I would rather hang myself,” Museveni was quoted as saying by the pro-government New Vision newspaper.
He added: “We prioritized national security by developing a strong army otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children.
“It would be a vote of no confidence to our country and citizens if we can’t guarantee our security, what kind of persons would we be?” he told supporters at a campaign rally.
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