Nigerians commend the return of two Chibok girls, adding that it raises hope of rescue of the remaining missing school children numbering more than 200
| By Anayo Ezugwu | May 30, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE return of two of the more than 200 Chibok girls who were kidnapped from their school in Borno State, North East Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgents is generating mixed reactions from the people. While the world is happy that girls are still alive, it has also renewed hope that the remaining girls will soon be rescued.
The two girls who renewed this hope with their freedom are Amina Ali Nkeki, who came back with a four-month old baby on Tuesday, May 17, and Sera Luka who was rescued on Thursday May 19. Nkeki, was given a red carpet treatment when she was received at the ASo Villa by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
Luka’s rescue was confirmed by Usman Sani Kukasheka, army spokesman, who broke the news, saying she is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka, one of the parents of the missing girls. Kukasheka said the girl is number 157 on the list of the 219 Chibok girls in captivity.
President Buhari promised that everything will be done to ensure that Amina Ali goes back to school. Besides, his administration will ensure that she gets the best medical, emotional and other care towards her full recovery and re-integration into the society. Buhari said, “Like others all over the world, I’m delighted that Amina Ali, one of the missing Chibok girls, has regained her freedom. But my feelings are tinged with deep sadness on the horrors the girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life. Although we cannot do anything to reverse the horrors of her past, the federal government can and will do everything possible to ensure that the rest of her life takes a completely different course.”
He promised that his administration will continue to do whatever it can to rescue the Chibok girls who are still in Boko Haram’s captivity. “Amina’s rescue gives us new hope and offers a unique opportunity to vital information.”
Some Nigerians, who spoke to Realnews also echoed the presidents sentiment. Ebongabasi Ekpe-Juda, security expert, said the rescue of the girl was a sign of hope that the remaining girls are alive and that the military were not wrong when they said that the girls are in the forest. “It a sign of hope because from what she said that the other girls are still in the forest. I pray that she is honest because at a point we lost hope of rescuing the girls. And now we have been told that they are still alive with proof, it’s a good sign of hope. I believed that the military should move in full force to rescue the other girls,” he said.
Ekpe-Juda, dismissed the conspiracy theory in some quarters that the rescue might be a scam or trick by Boko Haram to deceive the federal government. He believed that anything can be possible but the way the military has decimated the terrorist group indicates that the girl came out in search of food because she has a baby. He said it could be possible that the girl and the sex exploiter they rescued with her came out because of hunger. He advised the military to profile them and know the truth.
He is of the opinion that the rescue of Nkeki will not have any negative impact on other girls still in captivity. “Since they didn’t kill them in 2014, I don’t think they will do that now. I remembered they wanted to use them to negotiate with the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan but the government snob them. If they wanted to kill them it would have been at that point but they didn’t do that. I don’t see them doing it now and I pray they don’t do it.”
Ishaya Ibrahim, a journalist who reports security, said the rescue of the girl is a welcome development and a sign that the military are now properly equipped to fight the battle. He said that his sources in the military confirmed that the rescue was not a scam but something that should be celebrated by all Nigerians. “I very happy on this success recorded by the military and it’s a sign that we are winning the war against terror.
“People should commend President Buhari for what he has done in giving the girl a red carpet reception. At first, I thought he wasn’t concerned about the plights of the Chibok girls’ parents because he never visited them to show support of the government. But this singular gesture shows that he cares for them and is determined to help,” he said.
According to Ibrahim, those criticising former president Jonathan for not sending troops into the forest to rescue the girls should first of all know the size of the forest. He said that Sambisa forest is a massive area and about 60 kilometres and 10 times the size of Lagos State. He noted that the forest extended to Cameroon, Chad and is about the size of six states in Nigeria, which include, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa and some part of Kano.
Also, the south east zone of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said: “We salute the gallant Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, the Nigeria armed forces, the JTF and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, for their fortitude, resilience and perseverance. For, if President Buhari had remained indifferent like the former president, the penetration of Sambisa forest couldn’t have been possible. Indeed the rescue of Amina Ali has put to shame people like the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan and Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, who thought the abduction of the girls, was a scam.”
Okechukwu said the party’s message to the parents of the remaining school girls “is that they should bear in mind that with God nothing is impossible. Their hope should not wane, as we have every hope that more girls will be rescued.”