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.
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.