Buhari praises Red Cross over role in Chibok girls’ release
• Okoh, Onaiyekan, Adeleye, lawmakers seek freedom for others
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) over its role in the release of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls. He urged the agency to sustain its humanitarian interest in Nigeria.
The President, at a meeting with ICRC President, Mr. Peter Maurer at the State House, Abuja yesterday, said his administration is prepared to talk with the Boko Haram insurgents “as long as they agree to involve international agencies like ICRC.”
A statement by the Senior Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying: “We’ve seen the result of recent talks, 21 of the Chibok girls are back.”
The President said Nigeria’s biggest problem is perhaps the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs), estimated at over 2 million, and “made up of over 60 per cent women and children.”
Meanwhile, more encomiums are still going to the Federal Government and all the parties involved in the girls’ release.The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop of Anglican Communion, Calabar Diocese, Bishop Tunde Adeleye and Edo State House of Assembly all have applauded the release of the girls and charged government not to relent in ensuring the safe release of the remaining captives.
Okoh said: “We received with delight, relief and optimism the news of the release of 21 of the Chibok girls that we had long been praying for in the last two years.”
Onaiyekan told government that it should offer amnesty to the members of the sect if they are ready to change.Adeleye called on the Federal Government to speed up negotiation to release the remaining girls said to be still alive.
The Edo lawmakers, who spoke through Speaker Justin Okonoboh, said the glory for the girls’ release goes to Nigerians. He appealed to the Federal Government to work towards the release of the other girls.
Speaking in a similar vein, the National Publicity Secretary of Campaign for Democracy (CD) Mr. Dede Uzor, in Onitsha urged government to intensify negotiations for the release of the remaining girls to end the agony of their parents.
In Ekiti State, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Taiwo Olatunbosun, praised President Buhari, urging him to ignore Governor Ayodele Fayose’s “insincere and infantile” comments on the issue.