BY SIMON ATEBA/WASHINGTON DC
President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated the release of 82 Chibok girls after lengthy negotiations with Boko Haram, spokesman Garba Shehu, said in a statement, adding that the girls were released in exchange for some terrorists.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the ChibokGirls have yielded results. Today, 82 more ChibokGirls were released,
“After lengthy negotiations, our security agencies have taken back these girls, in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities. The released ChibokGirls are due to arrive in Abuja tomorrow Sunday May 7, and will be received by the President,” ” said Mr. Shehu,a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
“President Muhammadu Buhari expresses his deep gratitude to all who played a part in ensuring the success of this operation, as follows: Security agencies, the military, the Government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs.
“The President has repeatedly expressed his total commitment towards ensuring the safe return of the ChibokGirls, and all other Boko Haram captives.
“The President has received detailed briefings from the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) at every stage of the negotiations/operation,” Shehu said.
Commendation came from everywhere. President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Sunday, commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, security operatives, and the international Red Cross on the release of 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls, that were part of the group abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki 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 Senate President said.
“Last year, we managed to secure the release of 20 girls. Today, 82. By this feat, those that are still out there should be rest assured that Nigeria will not forget them, and this government will continue to do everything within its power to bring them back home,” Saraki said, “Moving forward, the Security Forces must be commended. However, the work is not yet done, too many families are still anxious today. Too many of our daughters have not returned.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has commended President Buhari for his continued dedication to the safe return of the abducted Chibok Girls.
This is coming in the wake of the release of 82 schoolgirls who were abducted, along with others, by Boko Haram terrorists in April 2014.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, Dogara described the development as “delightful and heartening”, and commended the efforts of the security agencies and all others who were involved in the negotiation process.
“Last month, the House of Representatives adopted a motion urging the Executive to expedite negotiation for the release of the schoolgirls who remain in captivity, and the news of the release of 82 Chibok girls is delightful, to say the least.”
“President Buhari has further proven that he is a man of his words, as he could have used the initial inaction by the previous administration as an excuse to not take action, but he didn’t. It has been said in many quarters that true leadership is defined not by apportioning blame, but by solving challenges irrespective of their genesis, and the President deserves all commendation for this feat.”
“It is extremely gladdening that these 82 girls will finally be reunited with their families; it is my ardent hope that they get the required medical attention, and that the other girls – and all others – who remain in captivity are released soon.”
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