Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Minister of finance during the weekend told an American television reporter that she was tired of speaking about the over 234 abducted school girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
"I’m tired of the same stories" she told the reporter in an unplanned interview at the World Economic Forum meeting in Abuja.
The minister, who said she was not competent to speak on the issue because she is not the government spokesman, realised her mistake and decided to give some explanations on government’s effort so far.
When asked about Amnesty International’s report which alleged that Nigerian military received advance warning before the kidnapping but failed to act, Okonjo-Iweala, said; "I cannot answer those questions. I am the minister of finance. I can only tell you about the full commitment of the government and the pledge of the international community as demonstrated by this conference".
When the reporter asked her what the government was doing in bringing back the girls, the minister said "everything was being done.
"The government has sent out additional troops, the government is doing aerial surveillance, the government is working with companies that have satellite, the government is working with the U; is waiting for the promised help from all the sources that have pledged.
"The government, with the private sector, has supported the initiatives lunched here for Safe Schools for our children. So, the government is doing the maximum it can, it has opened the crises centre so that they can provide up-to-date information. Everything is being done, like I said terror will win when we divide" she said.
Okonjo-Iweala alleged that the aim of the insurgents was to stop the world community from coming to Nigeria.
"That’s why they did that; and the world community said, ‘No, we will come to support our girls.’ And they’ve come in solidarity. This is the largest ever world economic forum conference ever after Davos" she said.
She walked away from the interview when the reporter requested for specific details of the government’s engagement with Boko Haram, telling him to speak to Nigerian military authorities.
Meanwhile the explanation helped a little as hours later, the media outfit published a story titled: “Nigeria official says she’s tired of talking about the kidnapped girls”.
The minister while trying to avoid a backlash released a transcript of the interview on her Facebook page late Saturday; but the transcript excluded the initial exchange with the journalist.
Nigerian government has been under scrutiny following the manner it handled the abduction of the school girls. It took more than two weeks for the President to respond to the raid.
Jonathan was seen dancing and singing at a political rally in Kano State, a day after 75 people were killed in a car bomb at Nyanya motor park, a suburb of Abuja, which is the same day the girls were abducted.
The president has expressed optimism that the kidnapping of the girls will be the “beginning of end” of Boko Haram.