By Ugo Aliogo
The African Arise For Change Network (AACN) a coalition of women groups last week expressed pleasure with the recent release of 21 Chibok girls, while stressing that the gesture by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Military have indeed restored hope among the families of the released girls and women generally.
The women urged Nigerians to continue supporting the government to ensure that the remaining girls held by Boko Haram are safely returned to their families.
Speaking at the rally, the Executive Director of the group, Mrs. oluwtosin Bolarinwa, commended the Nigerian military and the intelligence agencies for been instrumental in crushing the insurgency group which made the negotiation possible, and paved way for the release of the girls.
She paid special tribute to the families and loved ones of military personnel who paid the ultimate price in the course of fighting the insurgents to ensure the girls regain their freedom, “the Buhari led government has turned around what many Nigerians had given up hope on.”
Bolarinwa said: “The reason for our rally today is to thank Mr. President. You promised to bring the girls back and some of us were already losing hope when it was taking time, but today we are beginning to see the wisdom of focusing on getting the girls out safely as opposed to applying brute force. Thank you to the military, whose members sacrificed on countless occasions to keep the operation against the terrorists going.
“Thank you to the parents and families of the Chibok Girls for the many months of patience with Nigeria while their girls were held hostage. Nothing is enough to compensate to you for your countless nights of uncertain vigils.
“This thank you rally will not be complete without us asking for more. We appeal to the government not to relent at this point. It should quicken the pace at which the remaining girls will be freed from the terrorists.”
She further appealed to the government not to bring the military operations against the insurgents to close simply on account of the girls being freed, adding that some of the fighters are known hardliners who will not sign up to the peace deal.
Bolarinwa added that the recent attacks by the insurgent group on soft targets are aimed at creating fear in the minds of the public that the group is very much active, noting that Nigerians are no longer afraid of them “as our military have demonstrated enough capacity to be equal to any uprising by any unscrupulous element that rises up to challenge our humanity.”