Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala admitted to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that the Nigerian government did not adequately communicate with the press about the nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, .
Critics say that far from just releasing bad information, the government released demonstrably false information. “The president has two daughters,” she said. “These children are our children. But we did not communicate that well.” Just days after the kidnapping in April, the Nigerian military announced that all but a handful of the girls had been released; that claim was soon disproved, and the girls are still missing.
President Goodluck Jonathan is “trying to work with the UK, with France, the U.S., and other countries – China – to be able to get more intelligence, better intelligence, support, and support the army. Troops have been increased from 15,000 to 20,000 to try and provide better security.” “We are trying to say to these girls: We are not just going to fold our hands. We will be working hard to get you back. But when you come back, you should find a different place.”
“This does not mean that you will not see incidents, because the nature of this type of insurgency is one single person can cause a problem somewhere.” “The issue is what are we doing as a government to make things better? And this Safe Schools Initiative that has been launched with the help of Gordon Brown is one of the instruments.”
Just two weeks ago, the Nigerian military wrapped up its investigation into the missing girls, with little progress to show on returning them to their homes. The government is leaving open all possibilities to get the girls back, she said, including negotiation with Boko Haram.