Kidnapped Girls: I Was 'Misunderstood' – Kema Chikwe
“It has come to my attention that part of my speech at the prayer session especially the questions I raised concerning the circumstances surrounding the abduction of these innocent girls was largely misunderstood.”
The National Woman Leader of Nigeria's ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kema Chikwe, has said her statements on the kidnapped girls were 'misunderstood.'
Ms. Chikwe was quoted as saying she doubts the authenticity of the kidnap of over 250 girls from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State.
“How did it happen? Who saw it happen? Who did not see it happen? Who is behind this?” the former minister was quoted as saying by Sahara Reporters during a prayer session for Nigeria at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.
The statement has already drawn flaks from several Nigerians including the opposition All Progressives Congress which said the statement “plumbed the depths of absurdity and insensitivity.”
Ms. Chikwe, however, said in a statement she signed on Thursday that she was misunderstood and her intention was not to doubt the kidnap.
“It has come to my attention that part of my speech at the prayer session especially the questions I raised concerning the circumstances surrounding the abduction of these innocent girls was largely misunderstood,” the PDP leader said.
Read her full statement below
May 1, 2014
My Official Position On The PDP Women's Prayer Session – Kema Chikwe
My attention has been drawn to reports in some section of the media regarding my speech at the occasion of PDP Women's Prayer Session organised on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 to among others things, seek divine intervention for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. As a mother, I have remained heartbroken and deeply pained by the unfortunate incident. My heart and thoughts have continued to go out to these girls and their families, hence my decision to mobilise other women to pray for them. Our prayer points included prayers for security in Nigeria, prayers for the quick recovery of the victims of the Nyanya bomb blast and consolation prayers for families of the dead, prayers for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls in Borno State, prayers for all terrorist victims in Nigeria, and prayers for Nigerian Women and Children amongst other prayer points. Christian and Muslim religious leaders led these prayers.
However, it has come to my attention that part of my speech at the prayer session especially the questions I raised concerning the circumstances surrounding the abduction of these innocent girls was largely misunderstood.
Indeed with every sense of responsibility, I wish to reiterate that this is not the time to sensationalize issues particularly those relating to these innocent girls whose fate we are all deeply worried about.
In this regard, we all must ensure that we are not distracted in anyway whatsoever but collectively focus our energies towards actions that will accelerate the rescue and safe return of these girls to their families, a cause for which I and the PDP family will continue in prayers.
I therefore appeal to all Nigerians, especially the women not to relent but continue to pray along with me especially as we have been reassured that the Government and the security agencies are doing their best to ensure the rescue of our daughters.
Amb. Dr. Kema Chikwe
PDP National Woman Leader.