By Lanre Adesanya
The African Arise For Change Network, a coalition of women group lauds President Muhammadu Buhari led administration and the military on the recent release of 21 Chibok girls, describing the feat as one capable of restoring hope back to hapless Nigerians.
The group in a thank you rally for the release of the girls in Lagos, urged Nigerians to continue supporting the government to ensure that eventually those still held hostage by Boko Haram – aside the Chibok Girls are safely returned to their families.
Addressing the rally, Executive Director of the group, Oluwatosin Bolarinwa commended the Nigerian military as well as the intelligence agencies that were instrumental in degrading the Boko Haram insurgency to the point where negotiation became possible, which eventually paved way for the release of the girls.
She paid special tribute to the families and loved ones of military personnel, who paid the supreme price in the course of fighting the insurgents to ensure the girls regain their freedom.
Stressing that with this achievement, the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has turned around what many Nigerians had given up hope about.
According to Bolarinwa,Our rally today is for no other reason than to say thank you to 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 for countless nights of uncertain vigils.
“We appeal to the government not to relent at this point. It should quicken the pace at which the remaining girls are freed from the terrorists.”
She averred that the recent attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on soft targets are to create fear in the minds of our people that they are still around.
Stating unequivocally 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.
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.
“As some of the fighters are known hardliners who will not sign up to the peace deal”. She reiterates.”