Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nigeria: Update--President Declines Boko Haram Offer of Prisoner Exchange w/o Conferring with Parents

According to Reuters, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has rejected the idea of a swap of Boko Haram prisoners for schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Islamist group a month ago, Britain's minister for Africa said after talks with him in Abuja on Wednesday (May 14). 

COMMENT: "He made it very clear that there would be no negotiations with Boko Haram that involved a swap of abducted schoolgirls for prisoners," the UK's Mark Simmonds told a news conference.

It seems clear, due largely to indecision and a sentiment that Jonathan is accountable to no one, Jonathan has made a unilateral decision to decline a prisoner exchange with Boko Haram.

At a minimum, Jonathan should at least have heard out the hundreds of parents who fear the worst for their daughters.

Admittedly, now five weeks into the girls' disappearance, we are nowhere closer to knowing where the hostages are than we did on April 15. Not good.

Unfortunately, President Jonathan seems incapable of understanding the sense of urgency his government is now facing, as he obviously made this decision without ever conferring with advisers from France, China, the US and UK or INTERPOL, all of whom have spent formidable taxpayer funds to assist the Nigerian president, to no avail.

Due largely to the Nigerian government's bad decisions on the kidnapped girls from the "get-go," they are hardly in the driver's seat!

Yet, for Jonathan to completely bypass the participating nations who have offered their help without as much as a "by your leave," suggests that all of the nations helping out should meet, agree on precepts and state collectively what they will and will not agree to.

What Jonathan apparently does not realize is that all of the nations providing him free assistance, may simply get tired of  of his continuing to operate unilaterally and take their high-value toys back home.

Obviously, Jonathan doesn't know whether the foreign governments will leave if they are unable to make a contribution to the rescue of the girls. 

Needless to say, the nations that are helping Nigeria should have negotiated a better memorandum of understanding (MOU). If they failed to insist on a  an MOU, they should have done so, as EVERYTHING in Nigeria is "complicated."

Breaking news! The Nigerians now want drones. Given Nigeria's abysmal human rights record, how will the the various governments protect proprietary information?