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MURIC Wants OBJ Given Approval To Negotiate Chibok Girls’ Release (Full Text)

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo declared yesterday that he could reach out to the violent Boko Haram sect over the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the sect. However, he regretted that the Federal Government was yet to give him the go ahead.
 
We consider this development as light at the end of the tunnel. We are however astonished that the Federal Government is yet to come to fully comprehend the far-reaching implications of the Chibok girls imbroglio. Time is running out fast.
 
While the Federal Government dilly dallied, another set of twenty women of Fulani extraction were kidnapped during the week in the same area. We remind the Federal Government that the primary responsibility of governments is the protection of lives and properties. The buck stops at the table of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
 
We warn that this is not the time to play politics with a sensitive matter. In fact it is no longer a national issue. It has become a matter of international concern. Every other thing should therefore become secondary as far as this country is concerned. The kidnap of the Chibok girls should be at the pinnacle of all issues in government circles. It is nulli secundus.
 
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) therefore calls on the Federal Government to give former President Olusegun Obasanjo the green light since he has established contact with the Boko Haram leadership. We commend the former president for taking the bull by the horn in spite of the great risk involved.
 
We call attention to the fact that this has happened in other climes. Ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush of the United States have mediated in several crises around the world. So did former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Ukrainian crisis.
 
It is also on record that this same ex-President Obasanjo has mediated in Sudan and many other countries. His pedigree should suffice for President Jonathan to repose some modicum of confidence in him regardless of their personal differences. This is a national cause and primordial sentiments must take the back seat. This is the time to exhibit statesmanship.
 
MURIC urges President Jonathan to expedite action on the matter now before it is too late. The Federal Government should be happy that it is an ex-president of Nigeria who has seized this initiative and not any of the former presidents of the United States or an ex-Prime Minister of Britain. It remains the pride of Nigeria if we are able to resolve this kidnap saga in-house. It will also be the pride of the African continent.
 
President Jonathan must also seriously consider the advice offered by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubabakar III. The Sultan advised yesterday that the Federal Government should swap the kidnapped girls with Boko Haram prisoners before it is too late. MURIC fully supports this call.
 
MURIC appeals to Nigerians to intensify their prayers in churches, mosques, homes and other gatherings for the safe release of the kidnapped Chibok girls as well as their Fulani counterparts.
 
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
 

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