THE All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at securing the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped over two years ago.
National chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, gave the commendation while speaking in a telephone interview with newsmen in Abuja.
According to Odigie-Oyegun, the release of the girls was an indication that the president and the party would keep to all the promises made to Nigeria people.
“It is a major achievement for the government and the party. I congratulate the president for keeping to his promise of rescuing the Chibok girls.
“We believe that in the next few months, more achievements will be made in this direction.
“This is an indication that the APC government and President Buhari will make do the party promises to Nigerians,’’ he said.
Also in a statement, a group under the aegis of Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG), described the girls’ release as an affirmation of Buhari’s pragmatism.
In the statement signed by its chairman, Malam Muhammad Labo and secretary, Cassidy Madueke, it said “the release of 21 Chibok girls is not just cheering news, but a clear evidence of President Buhari’s pragmatic approach to resolving national challenges.
“The BMSG commends the administration of Buhari for the release of the 21 Chibok girls.
While congratulating the parents of the released girls, in particular, and Nigerians, on the cheery news of the release of the girls, the BMSG observes that the president should be appreciated.
“He should be appreciated for subjecting the dictates of sovereignty that limit negotiation of any sorts with terrorists, officially, to the empathy of parenthood and the soft emotions of a father.
“The president has, by this singular act, excited the Nigerian masses by sacrificing the universal doctrine of no negotiation with terrorists for empathy.
“Under 16 months in government, Buhari has degraded the once dreaded Boko Haram terrorists off Nigerian territory and reduced the once seeming protracted rebellion into a whimper.”
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commended the government for the successful negotiation which led to the freedom of 21 of the Chibok girls. The development, MURIC said, marked the beginning of the liberation of the girls in totality.
The group said the act also showcased the genuine commitment to the rescue of the Chibok girls, adding that “it is a plus for President Buhari.”
In a statement by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said “although it is not yet Uhuru, we wish to congratulate President Buhari for bringing out 21 of the girls from captivity. It may be a small number, but it is a pointer to better days ahead. A silver lining has appeared in the sky after cloudy and stormy days.”
The statement said the release of the 21 girls had effectively punctured the conspiracy theory of a few doubting Thomases who alleged that the abduction of the girls was a phantom.
“We are saddened by the fact that some of the girls came back with children of their own but we thank Allah that they are alive.
“We charge the Federal Government to come up with a programme for the full rehabilitation of the 21 girls, their kids and others still in captivity, whose release we are eagerly anticipating,” the statement read.
The release added that “while we commend the efforts of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group in putting pressure on governments of the day on the subject-matter, we appeal for decorum and rational behavior in the methods adopted.
“We, therefore, advise the BBOG group to stop public demonstrations henceforth. Public demonstrations are capable of being hijacked by hoodlums who may loot shops, attack innocent motorists and commit other atrocities.”
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.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its national secretary, Shuaibu Leman, the union commended the Federal Government for its sustained efforts to secure the release of the girls.
“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 to reunite with their families,” the statement said.
According to the NUJ, all hands must be on deck to ensure the release of every single Nigerian in the insurgents’ captivity.
Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Michael Adeyemo, commended the efforts of President Buhari administration in securing the release of 21 Chibok girls.
Adeyemo said the development showed that the administration placed 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,” he added.
The speaker appealed to Nigerians not to be overtaken by emotions but to have faith in the government’s 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,” he added.