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FG urges patience, hopeful on release of more Chibok girls

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Oludare Richards (Abuja) and Akin Alofetekun (Minna)   |   17 October 2016   |   4:13 am
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Babangida, CAN laud Buhari

The Federal Government has appealed to the parents of the Chibok girls who are yet to be freed to be patient, saying it is optimistic that very soon more of them would be released.

The government said negotiations are ongoing to ensure the release of the remaining girls and urged people to refrain from making statements that can jeopardise the release of the girls who are still in captivity.

Speaking at a special thanksgiving service and reunion of the 21 Chibok girls with their families at the weekend, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said: “This is the beginning and we are very optimistic that very soon another batch bigger than this will be released. I want to assure you that these negotiations are ongoing even as we speak.”

According to him: “They are many reckless analysts and commentators who are not helping the situation. We still have many of our children in captivity. Therefore, we have to be careful with the kind of comments that we make. We must not make comments that will make the release of these girls difficult or impossible.”

Meanwhile, former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has expressed delight at the release of the 21 Chibok girls and commended the President Muhammadu Buhari over the development

Babangida in a statement said: “It is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is committed to ensuring the safe release of the girls.”

The former military president reaffirmed his belief in the professional capability of the Nigerian armed forces and other security agencies in ensuring an end to the activities of Boko Haram.

Also, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Rev. (Dr.) Samson Olasupo Ayokunle has commended the Federal Government for the breakthrough recorded by getting 21 of the kidnapped Chibok girls released.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Bayo Oladeji, the CAN president described the news of their release as great and pleasant since the beginning of the year and assured the Federal Government of the association’s prayers to ensure everyone of the girls still in captivity is released.

The Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Chibok School Girls, Yakubu Nkeki, re-echoed the minister’s plea by appealing to people to stop spreading rumours, particularly on social media, that will put the lives of the girls at risk.

He thanked President Buhari for the political will that eventually led to the release of the abducted girls.

The spokesperson of the released girls, Miss Gloria Dame, who recalled their ordeal in captivity, thanked God and all those who made their safe release and reunion with their families possible.

Dame, who spoke in Hausa, prayed that God will ensure the safe release of the other girls still in captivity.

In Abuja parents of the 21 rescued Chibok girls finally reunited with their daughters yesterday at the Department of State Services (DSS) health facility.

The head of the Chibok-Kibaku community, Hosea Tsambido, described the reunion as a very exciting and emotional moment for the parents, who had arrived Abuja since Saturday upon receiving the news of the rescue of the girls.

“This is bringing hope to the whole Chibok community seeing their daughters again. In fact, one of the mothers insisted on carrying her daughter on her back. Each parent is praying that the girls in Sambisa Forest would come out as their own has,” he said.

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