Dapchi school girls’ release

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Respite came the way of many Nigerians especially the parents of abducted Dapchi school girls last Wednesday that a majority of the girls had been released about 100 of them. Nigerians reacted to the story with mixed feelings with some doubting the authenticity of the story. But Information Minister, Lai Mohammed in a press statement at the Villa Wednesday morning put paid to the truthfulness of the speculations and confirmed that the story was nothing but the naked truth.

Nigerians burst out in tumultuous ecstasy. This at least put to rest albeit temporarily, the parents’ anguish and unnecessary stress engendered by the cruel abduction. In the midst of wild jubilation by citizens, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in its usual acerbic criticism made an unfounded if seemingly ridiculous statement that the purported release of the girls was stage-managed. Who and who stage-managed what? It should come out and give details of its position.

On our part, the end justifies the means in the situation. The government is more concerned about the safety of the girls and what untold hardship the parents were facing. Whatever means adopted by government in the release of the girls is immaterial or does the PDP want the girls to die in captivity? It is rather unfortunate that about five of the girls had died in incarceration. The PDP should stop henceforth its blame game as no one is interested or enthused by their antics. Recall that during the Jonathan’s regime when over 200 Chibok girls were abducted, the former president told the world that he did not believe the girls were truly abducted. He did not do anything after three weeks and till now, there is no record that his regime secured the release of even one of the abducted girls, or was his action then stage-managed as his party would always say? Hmn, a food for thought.

It is high time Nigerians stopped playing politics with issues like Fulani herdsmen’s killings and school girls’ abduction. The PDP should play the politics of uprightness and not of bitter recriminations like it did in this abduction saga. This is not the way the opposition should comport itself on issues confronting the nation.

We give kudos to the Federal Government on this feat and to the members of the armed forces and the Police for a job well done and to other stakeholders who made the release possible in the face of extreme provocations.

However, we need to remind President Muhammadu Buhari to do much more to free the hitherto forgotten Chibok girls still in captivity since April 2014, and the remnants of Dapchi girls held by their abductors more especially one who was reported to have been held because she refused to renounce her religious faith.

Another matter of our utmost concern is a report of alleged abscondment of the military from Dapchi prior to the abduction of the school girls by the Amnesty International. Whatever way one looks at it, we find it hard to believe the Amnesty story that it notified the army of the impending strike on the school and that the Army discountenanced their warning. Although our army may have their shortcomings, our soldiers are not known to abscond from duty even when facing fire. Amnesty’s allegation is a ruse to rubbish our armed forces. We reject the allegation in its entirety. Our armed forces had been known to perform creditably during world assignments such as peacekeeping. However, the army had since debunked the allegation describing it as blatant falsehood.

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