Chris Steven, Abuja
The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisation of Nigeria for Peace has called on Christian and Muslim faithful in the country to use this Sunday and Friday to offer thanksgiving for the release of the 21 Chibok Secondary School girls abducted two years ago by Boko Haram terrorists.
National Coordinator of the group, Bishop Musa Fomson while addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday urged Nigerians to also pray to God to help bring the Boko Haram terrorism and all other forms of insurgency in the country to an end.
Fonsom who is also the General Overseer of Spring of Life Assembly
said though more of the girls remain in captivity but the freedom of this first batch to be released has awakened hope.
He said, “We should pray for God to touch and soften the heart of those holding the remaining girls to also release them unhurt to their families.”
“Our belief is that whatever efforts we make as humans it will make tremendous impact when we commit them to God. We must thus unite our faiths in making supplications to God for the safe return of the remaining school girls.
“Our hope is that this development marks the start of national healing. We understand how the collective anguish over the girls’ abduction led to tempers flaring up across various divides. A lot of hurt was felt, not just by the biological parents or guardians of the students but parents across the land.
“The lesson for all of us is that progress was made when we ceased hostility towards each other. A breakthrough came when President Buhari was allowed to focus on delivering on his promise to bring back the girls. Talks that made it possible for the girls to be released held only after the military recorded successes against the terrorists.”
Fomson commended the federal government for the care and intervention it is providing for the girls, stressing that the team of medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, trauma experts and other professionals put at their disposal is a testament to the fact that a holistic approach is being adopted in their case.
“We salute the military and troops that made sacrifices that ensured that Boko Haram terrorists saw the folly of continuing to bear arms against the Nigerian state.
The degrading of the terrorists’ capabilities was definitely instrumental to their agreeing to seek peace with the release of the girls.
“Our appeal is that the euphoria of this development is not allowed to detract from the reality that there are other girls, children and women in IDPs camps, who must also be rehabilitated. They too have had traumatic experience. ” He said
He acknowledged the efforts and contributions by the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who has made several interventions at various IDPs Camps.
According to him, she also did not give up on providing succour to Chibok parents, saying her support for the President has helped to achieve the rare feat of freeing the first set of girl.
He said, “We urge her not to relent her efforts in pushing for the release of other in her capacity as a mother and a woman.”