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UPDATE: More reactions on the released 21 Chibok Girls from Boko Haram den

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UPDATE: More reactions on the released 21 Chibok Girls from Boko Haram den

 

  • Released 21 Chibok Girls: BBOG commends FG, Military
  • Released Chibok Girls not by Swap – Lai Mohammed
  • Borno Governor hails release of 21 Chibok girls, says development confirms Buhari’s sincerity
  • Nigerians laud FG over release of 21 Chibok girls
  • Saraki lauds release of 21 Chibok girls
  • Oyo Speaker commends FG over release of Chibok girls
  • UNICEF, Gender-based community lauds release of Chibok Girls
  • Chibok Girls Release: Hope for more – Ndume

 

 

Nigerians laud FG over release of 21 Chibok girls

Nigerians have commended the Federal Government over the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The citizens told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that the release of the girls had raised hope that the rest of the school girls still in captivity would also be released.

Dr Khalifa Dikwa, a Security analyst, said the use of international organisations such as the International Red Cross and Swiss Government to negotiate the release of the girls had “knocked out any political tone’’ in the arrangement.

Dikwa, a former lecturer with the University of Maiduguri, also commended the Nigerian troops for their professionalism in degrading and decimating the insurgents to the extent that they could no longer move freely.

“The terrorists cannot move as it was the case in the past when they were moving from one point to another, to destroy and kill, and retreat.

“That is to say that the Nigerian Armed Forces are now complete professionals, no politics,’’ he said.

Similarly, the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) described the release of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls as “a wonderful development’’.

In a statement issued on its behalf by Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili, the group urged the Federal Government to ensure safety and well being of the remaining girls still in captivity.

“This wonderful development confirms what we have always known about the capacity of our government to rescue our Chibok girls.

“While awaiting further details, we take this opportunity to salute the work of our security services in the front lines – the commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of our members of the Multi-national Joint Task Force and the civilian JTF.

“We also thank the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

“We further urge the international community to continue to support our government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world can finally put an end to this nightmare once and for all,’’ the group said.

Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity had on Thursday in a statement announced the release of the girls.

Shehu said that the release of the girls was the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram.

He said that the negotiation was brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government.

dr-josephine-odumakin

Dr Josephine Odumakin

“The negotiations will continue.

“The President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.

The residents of Bauchi have also lauded the Federal Government over the release of the 21 school girls.

They told NAN that the cheering news had raised their hopes on the possibility of freeing the remaining girls still in captivity.

Mrs Amina Ahmed, Coordinator of Iqra Foundation for Women and Youth Development, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), described the release of the girls as a welcome development.

She, however, advised that the girls should undergo thorough psychological orientation in view of the trauma they had experienced in the hands of the insurgents.

Ahmed, who is a Senior Magistrate with the Bauchi State Judiciary, also prayed for the release of the remaining girls.

Mrs Jummai Bello, Managing Director of Bauchi Radio Corporation , commended security agents for their efforts and urged them to continue the good work.

“As a mother, I feel very happy today and will pray for the release of the remaining girls,” Jummai said.

Some residents of Dutse in Jigawa, also hailed the release of the girls.

Malam Shuaibu Aliyu, a civil servant, said: “I commend the federal government for ensuring the release of these girls alive”.

“The gesture will further make the Boko Haram sect to trust the Nigerian Government, while negotiating for the release of more of the girls in future.

According to him, “the sincerity of the government will also convince the sect to lay down their arms and eventually benefit from its amnesty programme.

“This, if sustained, will help in making the sect to eventually lay down their arms and embrace peace, just like the Niger Delta militants,” Aliyu said.

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), equally commended the government for the release of the girls, although she said that 21 out of over 200 girls, was still few.

Akiyode-Afolabi urged the government to provide immediate psyco-social support for the girls and ensure that they were reintegrated into the society.

“Nigerian government is commended for the efforts at bringing our girls back,

“Having said that, we still expect more. Twenty one out of over 200 is still few. We will continue to make demands until they are all returned, ” she said.

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise Initiative, said further dialogue and meaningful negotiations that could lead to the safe return of the remaining girls should be intensified..

“The Women Arise commends the Federal Government for its untiring efforts at ensuring the release of the abducted Chibok girls, who have been in the captivity of the Boko Haram insurgents for over two years.

“While we appreciate the efforts and the gain so far made, we are still of the opinion that further dialogue and meaningful negotiations will lead to the safe return of the remaining girls.

Some residents of Damaturu in Yobe, also commended the Federal Government for securing the release of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls.

Alhaji Halilu Sani, a parent, said “Although, we don’t have the details of what led to the release, we believe government was instrumental to their release.

“This news brings hope that all the girls will be released to reunite with their families,” he said.

Mohammed Usman, a civil servant, said the release of the girls also brought hope that insurgency might soon end.

Hajiya Rakiya Musa, a mother of four, said she was overwhelmed by the breaking news of release of the girls.

“You may not appreciate what it means as a mother to have your daughter abducted, l am overjoyed and pray for the release of the other girls,”she said.

An Akure-based legal practitioner, Yemi Salau, said that the release of the girls had added more “glamour and colour’’ to the Buhari Administration.

Salau also said that the release showed that nothing could be achieved by force but through negotiation and dialogue.

He urged the Federal Government to listen to more aggrieved groups in the country, adding that, that was the essence of democracy.

Salau also advised government to intensify efforts to rescue the remaining girls still in the captivity of the insurgents.

 

 

Released Chibok Girls not by Swap – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government said on Thursday that the 21 Chibok girls released by the Boko Haram sect was not by swap “but a product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides”.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the clarification at a world press conference in Abuja.

The minister stressed that the release was effected based on confidence building between the government and the leadership of Boko Haram.

He said government viewed the release as a credible step in the eventual release of all the Chibok girls in captivity.

The minister confirmed that 21 of the abducted girls were released at about 5.30 a.m. on Thursday and flown to Kaduna from the location of their release.

“We have been working on the safe release of the girls and following all the leads available.

“In this instance, the moment we had a credible lead, Mr President gave the green-light to the DSS (Department of State Service) to pursue it.

“We can confirm that the DSS pursued the lead in collaboration with a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation.

Ministry to visit Nigeria's tourism sites

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information

The DSS was supported by the military.

“As soon as the necessary confidence was built on both sides, the parties agreed on the date and the location of the release of the 21 girls.

“This is the most glaring manifestation to date of the unwavering commitment of Mr. President to secure the safe release of the girls and reunite them with their families.

“It is also a result of the round-the-clock efforts by the Administration to put a closure to the sad issue of the kidnap of the girls,’’ he said.

The minister said that the girls were expected to arrive in Abuja later in the day.

He said that ahead of the arrival of the girls, a team of medical doctors, psychologists, social workers and trauma experts had been assembled to properly examine them.

He said government had the list of the 21 girls and was already contacting their parents as part of the necessary verification.

The minister said the government would release the names of the girls to the public as soon the verification was completed.

He said government appreciated the support of all Nigerians, particularly for never losing confidence in the ability of the president to secure the safe release of the girls.

 

 

NUJ welcomes release of 21 Chibok girls

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday welcomed the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls held captive by the Boko Haram insurgents.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the union’s National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman.

The union commended the Federal Government for its sustained efforts to secure the release of the girls.

Assembly congratulates Osun NUJ new excoIt will be recalled that the insurgents abducted over 200 Chibok girls from their school in Chibok, Borno, on April 14, 2014.

“This development as we learned is as a result of the Federal Government’s determination to secure the release of the girls through negotiations initiated by the Department of State Services (DSS).

“And a friendly foreign government as well as A renown International humanitarian organisation.

“The union believes that with this development, Government will not relent in its resolve to secure the release of the remaining girls to enable them reunite with their families.

According to the NUJ, all hands must be on deck to ensure the release of every single Nigerian in the insurgents’ captivity.

“It is pertinent to commend the determination and tenacity of the Federal Government in this regards and to urge all Nigerians to extend to Government the desired support to achieve a lasting peace in the North-East.

“We equally appeal to Boko Haram, which has shown this sign of goodwill to cease their activities and embrace peace,’’ the union said.

 

 

Released 21 Chibok Girls: BBOG commends FG, Military

Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) group has commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Military in securing the release of 21 abducted Chibok girls.

Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, the Convener of BBOG, on Thursday expressed the group’s gratitude on her Twitter handle from London.

Ezekwesili said the group was using this development as a point of contact for the remaining 197 girls.

“With tears of unspeakable joy at the release of 21 of our Chibok girls, we cry out and use them as point of contact for the rest of 197.

Is Oby Ezekwesili truly confused? By Okanga Agila

Oby Ezekwesili

“We, BBOG, are thanking our soldiers in the frontline of battle. You have given and keep giving us so much hope and sacrifices; we wait for the Federal Government for release of the remaining girls,’’ she said.

On his part, the BBOG Spokesman, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi, also commended the efforts of government and security agencies for the release of the girls.

“We welcome the development; we are delighted on the release of the girls.

“We thank the government and people have been on negotiation team, security agencies and all those who are part of their release.

“We want government to continue to work to ensure their safety and we urge the international community to support government in the release of 197 Chibok girls,’’ he said.

However, Abdullahi called for psycho-social support rehabilitation for the girls for them to live normal lives, saying government should provide the support.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, as saying the release of the girls was the outcome of negotiations between the federal government and the sect.

Shehu said the negotiations were brokered by the International Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and the Swiss Government, adding that the negotiations would continue.

He said the released girls would soon be handed over to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo by the Department of State Service.

NAN recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had solicited the assistance of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the girls.

In May, one of the more than 200 girls kidnapped from their school dormitory on April 14, 2014, escaped from their captors with her baby.

 

 

Borno Governor hails release of 21 Chibok girls, says development confirms Buhari’s sincerity

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno on Thursday hailed the release of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls by the Boko Haram Insurgents.

Shettima said in a statement in Maiduguri that the release had proved Present Muhammadu Buhari’s sincerity in ending the Boko Haram insurgency.

The statement was signed by the governor’s Special Adviser on Communication, Malam Isa Gusau, in Maiduguri.

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Governor Shettima Kashim

“If any Nigerian had doubts about the sincerity and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari ‎to the rescue of our precious daughters abducted by Boko Haram insurgents at Government Secondary School, Chibok on April 14, 2014,

“As well as his sincerity in rescuing all other victims and ending the Boko Haram insurgency, such doubts should be eliminated by the success of the negotiation that led to the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls,” he said.

“‎As people of Borno State, troubled by the deaths and destructions of Boko Haram insurgency, one of our major sources of strength since May 29, 2015, has been the undiluted sincerity we saw in President Muhammadu Buhari based on his administration’s absolutely genuine commitment toward recovering our schoolgirls.

“And thousands of other women and children held in captivity as well as ending the insurgency in order to secure the lives of our citizens and make way for reconstruction, resettlement and other development programmes and projects.

“We had faith in Buhari from the very day he took off as President,’’ the governor said.

Shettima said the steps President kept taking in dealing with the insurgency had continuously proved his sincerity.

He said if any Nigerian or members of the international community had doubts about the sincerity and commitment of the President to the rescue of all other abducted Nigerians and his sincerity in working toward ending the Boko Haram insurgency, such doubts must now be laid to rest.

“I am certain that the recovery of our 21 precious daughters from insurgency only strengthens the resolve of the Buhari Administration to continue to work tirelessly until all the girls and all Nigerians abducted are freed.

“And until the Boko Haram insurgency is brought to an end to guarantee public safety,” he said.

The governor commended the Nigerian Armed Forces and all those who worked toward the release of the 21 school girls.

“On our part, the Borno State Government has long put in place a rehabilitation process that would work in partnership with the Federal Government and interested humanitarian partners to ensure proper medical evaluation, trauma management and other key steps for our daughters,” he said.

Shettima said the State Government was also ready to enroll the girls in the best schools of their choices “like we have since done for the 56 girls who escaped abduction’’.

 

 

Chibok Girls Release: Hope for more – Ndume

Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has expressed gladness at the release of 21 school girls out of the 200 kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, in April, 2014.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday, Ndume said that the release of the girls was a sign that more girls would be released.

He said that he was excited on the news because the kidnapped girls were like his own children.

“This is pleasant news coming to us, especially because these are our own children; so it gives us hope, it shows us that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Senator Ali Ndume

Senator Ali Ndume

“It gives us that confidence; we have 21 girls now plus the 22 that had escaped earlier.

“We are praying and we will continue to pray and we will continue to encourage everybody that is involved in one way or the other to do everything to get these girls back whatever it would take.

“I actually appreciate the government’s effort.

“Even though we have been bombarding the government with demands, issues, noise making, the results have started coming out.

“We want to really commend the effort of whoever that is involved,” he said.

 

 

Oyo Speaker commends FG over release of Chibok girls

The Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Michael Adeyemo, has commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in securing the release of 21 Chibok girls.

Adeyemo said the development showed that the administration places premium on the lives of its citizens particularly children who are the future of this country.

“It gives credibility to this administration’s promise to ensure that Nigeria is a secured and peaceful country.”

Mr Michael Adeyemo

Mr Michael Adeyemo

The speaker appealed to Nigerians not to be overtaken by emotions but to have faith in the government ability to exploit every available means to rescue the remaining girls from the insurgents.

“The Federal Government has taken a step in the right direction and Nigerians should be more supportive regarding the strategy of government in not releasing information of its every move.

“This involves lives and we should not be carried away emotionally, it requires a high level of intelligence and controlled information to ensure the efforts of government is not frustrated or thwarted,” he said.

A girls’ right activist, Dr Adepeju Adrogba-Oti, who also commended the effort of the government, said that the release of the 21 girls has proved sceptics wrong that the Chibok incidence was a ruse.

“This is something that we have been agitating for and we, the activist, are happy, although they are not Chibok `girls’ anymore they are Chibok `women’ because of the experiences they have been subjected to.

“We know that their innocence have been taken away, we are still happy,” she said.

Adrogba-Oti, who is the founder, Global Youth Leadership and Girl-Child Foundation, also commended the relentless efforts of the Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) in making sure the girls were not forgotten.

“The tireless efforts and the resilience of the BBOG is highly commendable.

“The rescued girls should be rehabilitated to enable them be integrated back into the society,” she said.

Mr Olufemi Babalogbon, the Founding Curator Global Shapers Community, Ibadan, said that the step taken by the government reinforced the trust of the citizens in the present administration.

“This must have taken a lot of diplomacy on the part of the government to facilitate the release of our girls and it is highly commendable; this gives credibility to the government.

“We however, urge the government to intensify its effort to rescue the remaining girls and put away the blame game.

“Government is continuum and every hope fall on leadership; let us all continue to take responsibility for our lives and security,” he said.

 

Saraki lauds release of 21 Chibok girls

President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for Thursday release of 21 Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity.

In a statement signed by Yusuf Olaniyonu, his Media Adviser, Saraki also commended the security agencies, the Government of Switzerland, and the international community for their combined efforts in securing freedom for the girls.

Saraki commends UNICEF’s decision to resume aid work in Nigeria’s northeast

Senator Bukola Saraki

The released girls are among over 200 abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram indurgents.

“We join all Nigerians to rejoice on the return of our daughters. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who have returned and those girls who remain in the hands of the terrorists.

“It is our hope that the release of more of the girls is imminent and that our nation remains vigilant in the face of the continued crisis in North-East, Nigeria.

“The release of the 21 girls is a testament to the perseverance of our men and women in uniform, the civilian joint task force and a clear indication that this government has been relentless in securing their release.

“Moving forward, we need to ensure that the girls that have been returned to us are re-united with their families, and rehabilitated to become full members of our society.

“We must also not take our foot off the gas; Nigerians must continue to be united and insistent on the safe return of the other girls that are still in the hands of Boko Haram,” he said.

Saraki reaffirmed the commitment of the 8th Senate to supporting the Federal Government to secure the release of all the Chibok girls.

He highlighted the fact that their abduction still marked a dark notch in the history of the country.

“On our part, the Nigerian Senate has been clear that we will continue to do everything within our powers to support efforts aimed at securing the release of the rest of the girls.”

Saraki, however, condemned the bomb blast in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

He also decried the reported clashes between security agents and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shiites, in some parts of Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states.

He commiserated with victims of the unfortunate suicide attack, especially at a time the Federal Government had stepped up efforts at total eradication of the menace of Boko Haram.

While calling on the security agencies to gear up towards foiling such surreptitious attacks by the largely defeated insurgents, he called on Nigerians to be extra vigilant as they went about their daily businesses.

“If this stealthy suicide attack by the insurgents is meant to divert government’s focus at ensuring absolute peace and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), then they have clearly failed.

“The government shall not waiver in its resolve to restore normalcy in the region even as it will continue operations aimed at routing the last vestiges of these outlaws,” he said.

On the Shiites clashes, the senate president called for restraint on the part of security agencies, and urged Nigerians not to take laws into their hands, notwithstanding the level of provocation.

“The fact remains that the security agencies have the sole duty to enforce laws, protect citizens and maintain law and order.

“However, I call on the security agencies to exercise restraint in dealing with internal crisis so as to prevent avoidable loss of lives and property.

“All aggrieved persons must of necessity adopt the use of dialogue in resolving their grievances,” he said.

 

 

 

UNICEF, Gender-based community lauds release of Chibok Girls

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday welcomed the release of 21 Chibok girls on Oct. 13, hoping it can be a signal that more of the girls would be released.

The Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Ms Doune Porter, said, “We know that these girls will have been abused and traumatised during their captivity and that they will need a great deal of medical and psychological support.

“So they can begin to come to terms with their experiences and reintegrate with their families and communities; it will be a long and difficult process,’’ she said.

Porter said that the more than 200 Chibok girls kidnapped in April 2014 were among more than 7,000 women and girls that UNICEF estimated had been held and subjected to violence by Boko Haram.

“All of these women and girls need and deserve their freedom and our support on their difficult road to recovery,’’ she said.

Also speaking, Mrs Morenike Omaiboje, Director of Programmes, Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON), an NGO, said that the release of the girls was a good step in the right direction.

Omaiboje said, however, that if 21 out of 276 girls found, then the country as a whole had not started doing enough.

“But it also gives us hope, because it then means that they know where these girls are and if they have sold them to all across the world we are pleading that they should please bring them back.

“It is possible that some of them are out of Sambisa and have been sold as sex slaves.

“It means that we should not give up the search and there is hope on the way,’’ she said.

Biodun Abimbola

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.The Verge Communications (NEWSVERGE) is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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