Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan Cancels Meeting With Parents Of Abducted Schoolgirls

Abuja, July 15, 2014 – Nigeria’s president Goodluck  Jonathan has cancelled a meeting with parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, accusing activists of playing politics.

The #BringBackOurGirls group should be ashamed of manipulating “the victims of terrorism”, he said. 

Jonathan had been due to hold his first meeting with some of the girls’ parents on Tuesday. 

Islamist group Boko Haram captured the more than 200 girls during a raid on their boarding school in April. 

President Jonathan had been widely criticised for failing to meet distraught parents and not doing enough to rescue the girls. 

He agreed to the meeting on Monday following an appeal by Pakistani rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai. 

Jonathan had planned to meet 12 parents and five girls who escaped shortly after being captured. 

“Unfortunately, political forces within the Nigerian chapter of Bring Back Our Girls have decided to take this opportunity to play politics with the situation and the grief of the parents and the girls. They should be ashamed of their actions,” he said in a statement.

“Those who would manipulate the victims of terrorism for their own benefit are engaging in a similar kind of evil: Psychological terrorism,” he added. 

The BBC’s Mansur Liman in the capital, Abuja, says parents withdrew from the meeting at the last minute. 

No reason has still been given for the apparent snub, he says.