Chris Steven, Abuja
As Nigerians continue to celebrate the release of the 82 Chibok Secondary School girls, some groups have hailed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government and the Nigerian military authority for the feat.
The groups, under the auspices of Africa Arise for Change Network in conjunction with FCT Market Women Association trooped out in Abuja on Wednesday to mark the release of the Chibok girls describing the development as a good omen.
Speaking while presenting a peace flag to the Nigerian army at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, Princess Lillian Cosmos, FCT Coordinator, Africa Arise for Change Network commended President Buhari for keeping to his promise by facilitating the freedom of the girls after three years.
She called on every Nigerian to rally behind the President in prayers as he continues to work for the release of the remaining Chibok girls and other Nigerians held captive by the insurgents.
Cosmos urged the Nigerian government and the army to fight hard so that the remaining girls and other Nigerian held captive by the insurgent regain their freedom.
She said, “The large number of persons present at this rally today is proof that we are all elated at the joy of freedom for the latest batch of Chibok Girls to be freed from captivity. As would be expected, the large multitude here today is dominated by mothers.
“These are mothers in the true sense because they joined this rally all the way from Nyanya to this point in Abacha Barracks in solidarity with mothers that have endured over three years without their children.
“The release of the Chibok Girls might appear to have delayed but we take cognizance of the fact that all hopes were lost in the months after their abduction until the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. We therefore commend President Buhari for keeping to his promise. We also use this opportunity to thank the military for pushing the terrorists to a point where a prisoner swap was possible.
“We however want to appeal to the federal government not to relent on efforts to bring home the remaining girls and any other person still being held hostage by the terrorists. No one deserves to remain with those killers one minute longer than necessary.
“The military must be further empowered to wipe out the remnant of Boko Haram in the northeast of the country and anywhere they might be as we must all exhibit zero tolerance for the reprehensible acts they are guilty of.
“It is on this note that we present this special commendation white flag symbolizing peace and the end of Boko Haram to the military leadership for onward transmission to President Buhari” she said
Addressing the mammoth crowd of celebrants on behalf of the army at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, Lt Col Adamu Usman, promised that the Nigerian military will do all within its powers to ensure that every Nigerian being held in captivity is released and allowed to join their families to continue their normal life in the society.
He particularly thanked the women, Nigerian media as well as civil societies for their support and prayers for the military and promised to present the peaceful flag received from the women to the appropriate quarters.
“The Nigerian Army is happy with the safe return of the girls. It is not over until is over. We want to assure Nigerians that the army and the Nigerian government wont relent until this battle is won,” he said.