There are conflicting signals from Jonathan’s government on the issue of Dialogue with Boko Haram. Consequently, President Jonathan has asked all ministers and presidential spokespersons to stop commenting on any issue relating to the campaign by the Federal Government to rescue the school girls.
According to sources, Jonathan gave the directive following alleged uncoordinated responses or comments by some ministers and special advisers to criticisms by some Nigerians over government alleged poor handling of the terrorist activities in the North-East with particular reference to the abducted students.
Jonathan has, however, directed the formation of the National Information Centre with the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mr Mike Omeri as chairman.
According to sources, the ban on the ministers and special advisers from speaking led to the alleged stoppage of two press conferences which were to be addressed by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku recently by the Department of State Services, DSS.
The DSS also reportedly stopped another news conference which the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, reportedly organised on the Chibok matter.
In compliance with the Presidential directive, the National Information Centre now meets every day to exchange ideas and take common positions on issues to be addressed by Omeri who is the spokesman.
Members of the committee include Omeri, the Information minister as well as the spokespersons for the military (Maj.General Chris Olukolade); DSS (Marilyn Ogar); Frank Mbah (police) as well as their counterparts in other sister services.
However, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki; Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar as well as the United States Ambassador and his UK counterpart are allowed to interact with the committee with a view to sharing ideas or privileged information with the committee. Others include the Director in the Federal Ministry of Information, Peter Adamu and his foreign affairs counterpart.