June 29, 2014
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s Washington Post ‘Op-Ed’ editorial received a rebuke from an unlikely source. The Rupert Murdock-owned New York Post shot-back at Jonathan with a sharply critical editorial of their own. Their rebuke, titled ‘Goodluck Nigeria,’ took aim at what they called ‘newspaper diplomacy.’
In a story that came to light in the Washington-based, and Congress focused weekly magazine called THE HILL, Jonathan’s $1.2 million deal with the high powered public relations firm Levick noted how the president was about to begin an international charm offensive. Within days of that disclosure the Nigerian president wrote the Washington Post Op-Ed that painted a sympathetic portrait of his ongoing ‘quiet fight’ with the Boko Haram. The Islamist group took credit for the kidnapping of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok last April, with an additional 90 kidnapped in a series of attacks earlier this week.
Below is the scathing New York Post editorial read by millions of New Yorkers, and other Americans, in the last 36 hours.
“When in April the Islamist group Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 girls from their school in northeast Nigeria, it commanded global attention and sparked a #BringBackOurGirls movement.
“But the girls are still missing. The campaign seems to have moved from hashtag demands to ‘newspaper column diplomacy.’ On Friday, The Washington Post carried an op-ed by no less than the president of Nigeria himself, Goodluck Jonathan.
“In it he wrote, “Something positive can come out of [this situation] in Nigeria.” He says, “Most important, the return of the Chibok girls, but also new international cooperation to deny havens to terrorists and destroy their organizations.”
“And he says he’s going to ask the UN General Assembly to establish and coordinate a system to share intelligence, etc.
“Remember, this is the same leader whose military initially claimed it had freed the girls, whose wife’s anger was directed at Nigerians protesting the government’s inaction, rather than the kidnappers, and who presides over Africa’s largest economy and fourth-largest armed forces.
“Meanwhile, this week Boko Haram kidnapped another 90 Nigerian children and set off a massive bomb in the heart of the nation’s capital.
“Apparently the government’s secret plan to get the girls back — which President Jonathan says he has to “remain quiet about” — isn’t much impressing them.
Nor is the New York Post impressed with President Jonathan’s contract with Levick, or first salvo in rehabilitating his international image. At press time, the Chibok students from Borno and now, an additional 90 women, remain missing in spite of the Washington Post editorial that appeared in Thursday’s newspaper.