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Chibok girls: Group wants Sunday, Friday declared National Thanksgiving Day

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja    |   16 October 2016   |   12:10 am
Some of the 21 freed Chibok girls are received at the Nigerian Vice President office in Abuja on October 13, 2016. Jihadist group Boko Haram has freed 21 of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped more than two years ago, raising hopes for the release of the others, officials said Thursday. Local sources said their release was part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government, but the authorities denied doing a deal with Boko Haram. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

Some of the 21 freed Chibok girls are received at the Nigerian Vice President office in Abuja on October 13, 2016. Jihadist group Boko Haram has freed 21 of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped more than two years ago, raising hopes for the release of the others, officials said Thursday.<br />Local sources said their release was part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government, but the authorities denied doing a deal with Boko Haram. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

The National Inter-faith and religious Organisation of Nigeria for Peace has called on Christians and Muslim faithful in the country to use today and next Friday, to offer thanksgiving to God for the release of 21 Chibok girls.

National coordinator of the group, Bishop Musa Fomson, who addressed newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, urged Nigerians to also pray for an end to terrorism championed by Boko Haram, and other such forms of insurgency in the country.

According to Fonsom, who is also the general overseer of Spring of Life Assembly, although more of the girls still remain in captivity, the release of this first batch has raised hopes of the return of the remaining ones.


“We should pray for God to touch and soften the heart of those holding the remaining girls to also release them unhurt to their families,” he said, adding, “Our belief is that whatever efforts we make as humans it will make tremendous impact when we commit them to God. We must thus unite our faiths in making supplications to God for the safe return of the remaining schoolgirls.

“Our hope is that this development marks the start of national healing. We understand how the collective anguish over the girls’ abduction led to tempers flaring up across various divides. A lot of hurt was felt, not just by the biological parents, or guardians of the students but parents across the land. The lesson for all of us is that progress was made when we ceased hostility towards each other. A breakthrough came when President Muhammadu Buhari, was allowed to focus on delivering on his promise to bring back the girls.




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