By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The All Progressives Congress (APC) said it received the news of Saturday’s release of 82 Chibok girls with great joy, praising President Muhammadu Buhari for the unprecedented feat.
This came even as a chieftain of the party and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar lauded the president, saying his administration’s efforts at rescuing the girls are paying off.
The APC particularly commended “President Muhammadu Buhari for his tenacity and dedication in ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls who were abducted in 2014. This is further proof that we have a president who is working the talk. Nigerians will recall that last year, government secured the release of 20 girls”.
The party in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi also expressed its profound gratitude to all security organisations and international agencies that have played various roles to secure the release of the Chibok schoolgirls.
“The party congratulates and celebrates the girls who have bravely survived the very harrowing experiences these past three years and their parents and families who have endured the nervy and traumatic wait for their children. We assure of government’s resolve to give comprehensive medical attention to the released schoolgirls and ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into normal society.
“For parents and families whose children remain in captivity, we urge them to take solace with fact that government is doing everything possible to ensure the safe return of the remaining schoolgirls.
“The party urges the President to stay steadfast in his commitment to see to the release of all the girls and thousands of others being held captive by the insurgents, and to bring this ugly episode to a closure”, APC added.
On his part, Abubakar in a statement personally signed by him described the girls’ freedom from Boko Haram captivity after three years since their abduction, as a development that shows what Nigeria can achieve as a nation when we unite as one people around a common cause.
“Nigerians stood together as a people and purposed to free these girls,” he says. “Despite the many setbacks, hurdles and periods of discouragement, the government, civil society and the citizens all stood together, and today we have this victory that we are enjoying as one people.”
He commended the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which despite the costly lethargy of the previous administration in rescuing the girls, went at it with renewed vigour.
“Thanks to the hard work of our state security services, the military and the leadership of President Buhari, the government now has tangible results to show for all the persistence,” he says.
He also commended the Bring Back Our Girls group, “which kept hope alive for the parents and the nation, refusing to let us forget the missing Chibok girls.
“However, I encourage that we must all not rest on our oars until the remaining girls still in captivity are released, so that we can finally have a closure on this sad chapter of our country’s history,” he said.