Rescued Chibok girls, pleasant second anniversary gift to Nigerians, says Buhari; Saraki, Arewa, others react
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the rescue of 82 Chibok schoolgirls as a pleasant second anniversary gift to Nigerians.
The President made this known in Abuja on Sunday at a reception organised in honour of the rescued girls who were brought to Abuja after their release on Saturday.
The All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government will be celebrating its second anniversary on May 29.
Buhari expressed delight over the release of the girls and reassured Nigerians, especially relatives and friends of the determination of his administration to secure freedom for the remaining girls and other Nigerians still under the insurgents captivity.
“I cannot express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom.
“On behalf of all Nigerians, I will like to share my joy with you, your parents, your relatives, friends and the Government of Borno State on regaining your freedom.
“The Federal Government will like to commend the Security Agencies, the Red Cross, local authorities, local and foreign NGOs and all those who contributed in one way or another to secure the release of our Chibok Girls.
“Let me reassure Nigerians, especially relatives and friends of the remaining girls that the Federal Government will spare no effort to see that they and all other Nigerians who have been abducted safely regain their freedom.’’
He said the Presidency would personally supervise the performance of those entrusted with their welfare and commitments made by the Federal Government on their health, education, security and general well-being.
He said: “No human being should go through this kind of ordeal.’’
The President directed security agencies and state governments to continue to provide special protection to educational institutions vulnerable to this kind of outrage especially in remote areas.
According to him, the Federal Government is resolutely determined to safeguard the security of all Nigerians at all times.
Buhari congratulated the rescued girls and their parents on their safe return.
Before Buhari met the rescued girls, the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, received the girls at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have commended the Federal Government for securing the release of the 82 students.
They described the release as a welcome development and yet another feat achieved by the Buhari Administration.
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended the efforts of the Buhari-led Federal Government, security operatives, and the International Red Cross over the release of the girls.
Sakari made the commendation in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu.
He expressed delight at the development, saying that the prayers and well-wishes of Nigerians and the global community had led to the return of “more of our daughters.’’
“As a father, I can’t help but feel delighted and excited at the release of the 82 schoolgirls.
“When they were taken from us, the whole world joined in demanding for their return.
“Now, it is a testament to the tenacity and commitment of the Federal Government, led by Mr President that they are back with us, and will soon be reunited with their families.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) also hailed the federal government for securing the release of the schoolgirls.
The National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim said: “ACF is delighted at the News of the release and we commend the Federal Government’’.
“And the security Agencies for securing the release of those girls and urged them to keep it up so that the rest of the girls will be secured, we hope also they will be released,’’ Ibrahim said.
Also, the Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA), commended the Buhari administration and the Nigerian Army for the rescue of the girls.
The association’s President, Mr Habib, said that the president had not failed to fulfill his campaign promises to retrieve the abducted Chibok girls.
It said this development had further demonstrated that the Buhari administration was sincerely winning the war against the insurgents.
On her part, Mrs Angela Odah of the Centre for Gender Education, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), called on federal government to provide “psychological treatment and counseling’’ for the rescued girls.
Odah, who is the Chief Press Secretary of the association, made the call in Abuja.
According to her, urgent psychological treatment and counseling will help to ascertain the mental condition of the girls as well as help to stabilise their emotions.
She described the release of the abducted girls a welcome development but stressed the need for proper machinery to be put in place such as a Trauma Centre for the victims.
She said reintegrating the released girls into the society would be a tool in restoring their dignity.
“There is need for therapy and psychological support for the girls and their parents.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure that the girls are reintegrated and also returned to their schools.
Mr Tosin Adeyanju, the Executive Director of Conscience Nigeria, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), also commended the release of the schoolgirls.
Adeyanju described the efforts that led to their release as commendable, as well as the right steps in the right direction.
He said that all the people and institutions responsible for the release of the girls had earned the commendation of the CSOs.
“Basically, it is a total commendation for the Presidency, the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) and initiators of the bargain that led to the release.
“I must commend the Director-General of DSS for this kind of breakthrough that he has been able to achieve silently without making noise.
“Terrorism is a global issue and to Nigeria it is a new thing to us and we are learning to curb it.
“By and large, this administration has made efforts to rescue this abducted Chibok girls, so I don’t think it is ever late.
“Their return is a big relief to their parents and the country,’’ Adeyanju said.
The Coal City Literary Foundation also hailed the release of the schoolgirls.
The President of the foundation, Dr Adaobi Nwoye, made the commendation in Enugu.
Nwoye described the development as a `monumental feat’ achieved by the Buhari-led administration.
“I was happy when I heard the news this morning. We pray that God will continue to strengthen government’s efforts at the release of these children,’’ she said.