By Yekeen Nurudeen
The Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, campaign group has commended the federal government over the release of 82 Chibok Secondary School girls late Saturday by the Boko Haram terrorists.
A statement issued Sunday morning by the spokesperson of the group, Sesugh Akume, said the group was ” exceedingly delighted by this good news that has been long awaited following last October when upon the release of our 21 Chibok Girls, our Federal Government promised that; “another 83 was being negotiated to be released very soon”.
The statement came after the government confirmed the release of the girls through the combined efforts of security agencies, the military, the government of Switzerland, the Red Cross, local and international NGOs.
The BBOG however said it was looking forward to the official release of the names of the 82 girls to enable it verify them against the Chibok girls list generated by the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the Abduction of the Chibok Schoolgirls (General Ibrahim Sabo Committee) report of 20 June 2014.
“We are exceedingly delighted by this good news that has been long awaited following last October when upon the release of our 21 #ChibokGirls, our federal government promised that; “another 83 was being negotiated to be released very soon”.
“We are also glad in view of the remaining 133 of our #ChibokGirls that are still captives of terrorists, the statement from the Presidency reiterated the President’s and his government’s commitment to continue to earnestly pursue the release of all our Chibok girls,” the statement read.
While offering support for any initiative by the government to bring back the girls, the group noted that a total of 133 are still in the captivity of the insurgents.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has described the release of the girls as a big relief.
A statement by the Nigeria Director of AI, Osai Ojigho, advised that it is vital to give the freed girls “adequate physical and psychosocial counseling and support so that they can fully reintegrate in their communities.”
It added that the government should also respect their privacy and ensure that the released girls are reunited with their families and not kept in lengthy detention and security screening which can only add to their suffering and plight.
“Boko Haram members have executed and tortured thousands of civilians and raped and forced into marriage girls and women. They have been indoctrinated and even forced to fight for Boko Haram.
The Nigerian authorities must now do more to ensure the safe return of the thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys abducted by Boko Haram,” Ojigho said.