Following the release of 82 abducted Chibok school girls, there was great excitement in the Chibok community, Borno state on Sunday, May 7, 2017 as members of the community lauded the federal government for securing the girls’ release.
On Saturday, May 6, the federal government announced the release of 82 girls who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on April 14, 2014, from their hostel in Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state.
The federal government said the girls were released in an exchange for some detained terrorists after a negotiation deal with the leadership of Boko Haram.
While hosting the girls in his official residence at Aso Rock Villa, on Sunday, President Buhari described the release of 82 abducted Chibok girls as a pleasant 2nd anniversary gift to Nigerians.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the gesture, the residents expressed hope that the remaining girls in captivity will soon be set free also.
Overwhelmed by the news, a Chibok community leader, Ayuba Alamson, when interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria said;
“Sincerely speaking I am overwhelmed, this is the kind of information that we have long waited for.
“We appreciate God first and appreciate the government especially the presidency which championed the negotiations.
“We pray that this will lead to the release of the remaining girls and all the people that have been captured by the insurgents. Our prayer is all of them will be released.”
Describing the latest release of the girls as a big surprise, another Chibok community leader, Solomon Samuel said most of the community did not sleep on Saturday as they were praying, praising God and some were even shedding tears of joy because of the news.
“I did not sleep until 1 a.m. because of the report on the release of the girls. Sincerely speaking we cannot quantify the level of joy in the community.
“We pray that the next information we will get is that the remaining girls have been released.
“I want to call on all Boko Haram members that violent campaign will not help them.
“It is high time for them to embrace dialogue let them surrender and embrace dialogue so that peace will return,” Mr. Samuel said.
Similarly, the District Head of Chibok Zanna Modu said:
“Our prayer is for God to give them more wisdom to intervene so that this thing will come to an end completely.
“I also pray for the president for God to grant him good health, so he can fulfil all the promises he made to Nigeria like the release of all the Chibok girls and ending Boko Haram insurgency.”
Meanwhile, the Bring Back Our Girls group has urged the federal government to intensify efforts toward the release of the remaining 113 Chibok schoolgirls.
The Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG) and the vice chair, board of trustees of the International Crisis Centre Ayo Obe urged the president and the government to do all within its powers to ensure the girls held by Boko Haram terrorists are freed.
Speaking during an interview on Sunday, May 7, Obe stressed that Nigerians will never be at rest until the remaining 113 girls are rescued alive. Hear her:
“Even though there are reports that some of the girls are unwilling to come along with the 82 freed girls because they may have been radicalised, the government should not be discouraged. It should rather do its best to recover them.”
She added that after they have fully recovered and de-radicalized, the girls’ actions can then be judged.
“For now, they all should be freed and reunited with their families. Government owes its citizens a duty of security. It is government’s duty to free the girls. Though we have passed the half way mark. What we need to understand is there are still 113 unaccounted Chibok girls out there,” Obe said.
Obe urged the federal government to ensure that the rescued girls are united with their families as soon as possible, stating that, the government owes its citizens as its responsibility, a duty to ensure their security.
“It is government’s duty to free the girls. Though we have passed the half way mark. What we need to understand is there are still 113 unaccounted Chibok girls out there.
“I think, for now, let us put ourselves in the shoes of the parents of the kidnapped girls. Having known what the terrorists are capable of doing, I would rather the girls are released irrespective.
We haven’t been able to free them by military might, so this poses a viable alternative.” Obe said.