Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State on Wednesday declared the alleged abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from their hostels by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State almost two years ago, as a hoax.
The governor in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the alleged abduction was a political tool deployed to stir public sentiments against the Goodluck Jonathan administration ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Mr. Fayose’s comments came on the heels of the confirmation by the Nigerian government that one of the would-be female suicide bombers arrested in northern Cameroon last week and who claimed to be one of the abducted schoolgirls, is not from Chibok.
“Today, many opposition leaders are underground. I don’t think any of these girls is missing; it is a political strategy.
Who is fooling who? If you wanted to use it to remove some people, you have succeeded already”, Fayose said while declaring open a two-day workshop on “Political Aspirants Capacity Enhancement” organised by Women Arise for Change Initiative.
The workshop was organised for women from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states.
“I don’t know if there are missing girls but no indication has shown that. It is a political strategy, because I don’t think any girl is missing. If they are missing, let them find them”, the governor added.
He also mocked the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy group, saying some of its leaders are using the movement to seek political appointments.
The Ekiti governor further lamented that human rights groups had gone silent since President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, saying “I’m concerned about the activities of human rights groups. Today the government of the day is obeying court order of their choice, while human rights are not respected”.
“We must talk about government providing cover for criminals. You are now using that person to harass innocent person. You will never have peace when you hide justice”, he added.
According to Fayose, “Police came into town yesterday (Tuesday) to arrest political opponents. If you like, demonise me, I will demonise you. I don’t need the police and the SSS (Department of State Services) to walk in my state. It is when you are not popular that you walk with police.
“Any government that rises against me, that government will come down. I’m Peter the rock. By engaging me, you make me more popular and relevant and then court sympathy. I’m one person that is going places. That is why all these challenges are against me”, he stated.
The governor also advised women seeking elective offices to be loyal to their husbands.
Earlier, the President of the initiative and human rights campaigner, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the objective of the workshop was to enhance women political participation and their inclusion in decision making process by promoting female political aspirants and appointees.
According to Okei-Odumakin, the workshop was organized to encourage a more massive political mobilisation of women.
She also lamented that Nigerian women had not fully involved themselves in politics, despite the constitutional provisions giving them rights to political participation.