Former Vice President and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, has described the release of 21 Chibok girls as a sign of things to come and a ray of light on the fight against insurgency in the country.
Similarly, the Buhari Media Support Group said the release of the girls was an attestation of the pragmatism of the Buhari government in resolving issues that had become national challenges for Nigeria and Nigerians.
In a statement from his media office in Abuja, the former Vice President said the news of the release of the 21 girls was a clear indication that hope always wins and prays for the release of the remaining girls who are still in captivity.
While congratulating President Buhari for what he called a monumental achievement and a sign of things to come, Atiku said: “President Buhari assured the country that he would return the Chibok girls to their families, and this is the evidence we all need that he is committed to delivering on his promise.”
He was full of praises for “the role played by the Nigerian military, negotiators, activists and campaigners in ensuring that this milestone was achieved. This just shows how much we can achieve as a people when we stand in unity and faith.”
He challenged the government not to relent in ensuring that the remaining 197 girls are released and reunited with their families.
“If we continue at this positive and commendable rate, the rest of the girls will soon be reunited with their families and Nigerians can close this sad chapter in our nation’s history once and for all.”
Meanwhile, the Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) said the release of the girls is not just cheering news but a clear evidence of President Buhari’s pragmatic approach to resolving national challenges.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mallam Muhammad Labo, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, made available to The Nation in Abuja, the group commended the President for the achievement and congratulated the parents of the girls for reuniting with their children after over two years in captivity.
The organisation however said that the President should be appreciated for subjecting the dictates of sovereignty that limit negotiation of any sorts with terrorists, officially, to the empathy of parenthood and the soft emotions of a father.
The statement said further that by this singular act, the President has put a smile on the faces of the Nigerian mass by sacrificing the universal doctrine of no negotiation with terrorists for empathy.
The group also said that the release of the girls has further enhanced the people’s confidence in the President as a man who matches his word with action, adding that under 16 months in government, President Buhari has degraded the once dreaded Boko Haram terrorists off Nigerian territory and reduced the once seeming protracted rebellion into a whimper, treacherously seeking out soft targets to register a diminished presence.