Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar, has welcomed the news of the release of 82 Chibok Girls with great joy and gladness.
In a statement personally signed by the former Vice President in Yola, Adamawa State on Sunday, May 7, Atiku describes the girls’ freedom from Boko Haram captivity after three years since their abduction, as a development that shows what Nigeria can achieve as a nation when we unite as one people around a common cause.
“Nigerians stood together as a people and purposed to free these girls,” he says. “Despite the many setbacks, hurdles and periods of discouragement, the government, civil society and the citizens all stood together, and today we have this victory that we are enjoying as one people.”
The Turakin Adamawa commends the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which despite the costly lethargy of the previous administration in rescuing the girls, went at it with renewed vigour.
“Thanks to the hard work of our state security services, the military and the leadership of President Buhari, the government now has tangible results to show for all the persistence,” he said.
Atiku also commended the Bring Back Our Girls group, which kept hope alive for the parents and the nation, refusing to let us forget the missing Chibok girls.
“However, I encourage that we must all not rest on our oars until the remaining girls still in captivity are released, so that we can finally have a closure on this sad chapter of our country’s history,” he said.
In a related development, UNICEF has welcomed the release of 82 Chibok girls. Pernille Ironside, Acting Representative of UNICEF Nigeria said in a statement that “UNICEF welcomes Saturday’s release of over 80 of the girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents at their school in Chibok over three years ago.
“It is heartening to know that the girls will be returning to their families who have been waiting for this day. They will face a long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram.
“UNICEF is on standby to support the Nigerian authorities to provide the comprehensive psychosocial support and other specialized services needed. We will help reunite the girls with their families and make sure they can continue their education in a safe environment. Already staff at a UNICEF supported health clinic have been supporting immediate efforts to identify the girls and conduct medical check-ups before their onward transport.
“UNICEF calls on Boko Haram to end all grave violations against children, especially the abduction of children and the sexual abuse and forced marriage of girls.
“We commend the government for this important achievement in helping to protect children impacted by the conflict in northeast Nigeria but remain deeply concerned for the thousands of women and children still held in captivity by Boko Haram. Greater efforts must be made to bring them all to safety and home to their families.
“UNICEF has a comprehensive response to help children who have been affected by the conflict in the Lake Chad Basin and works with national authorities to support hundreds of children and women who have escaped or been released from Boko Haram. Every child is unique and requires different levels of support, so there is no standard formula or defined timeframe for these children to recover. UNICEF is committed to doing whatever it takes, as long as it takes to help these children recover a sense of normalcy with our available resources.”
Also, IndustriALL Global Union with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland has commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for the reported release of 82 Chibok school girls from the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists. It is exactly 1,119 days (precisely April 14, 2014), the Boko Haram terrorists brutally and cowardly abducted 276 schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State North East of Nigeria. The recent release came almost seven months after the terrorists group handed over 21 other abducted girls to the Nigerian government following ongoing negotiation between the Federal government and the group. The 82 girls that just regained freedom were reported handed over to the Nigerian authorities at Banki, a border town between Nigeria and Cameroun.
In a press release by the Vice President of Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu in Kaduna, he commended the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls. Comrade Aremu also commended the Nigerian military and other security agents as well as the international allies for their efforts.
Comrade Aremu who is also a NEC Member of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) salutes the leadership of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) and labour and civil society organizations for the mass actions and protests to ensure the release of the abducted school girls since their abduction over two years ago. He calls on the Nigerian government and indeed the International Community to intensify the effort to liberate the remaining abducted schoolgirls from captivity. According to him, “it is not yet over until all the abducted Chibok schoolgirls regain their freedom and reunite with their parents”.