Two girls, Amina Ali and Serah Luka, who were abducted on 14th April 2014 from their school hostel in Chibok have been rescued by the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Civillian Joint Task Force (CJTF).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) gives kudos to the Nigerian Army and the CJTF for making this rescue possible. We also congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for witnessing the happy moment when a new lease of life is being given to Chibok girls.
The rescue of the Chibok girls has some implications. Firstly, it shows that the 219 Chibok girls are still alive. Secondly, it implies that professionalism is now back in the army. Thirdly, it means Boko Haram camp is falling apart. The days of Boko Haram are numbered. Their logistics are in shambles. They are surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned. Fourthly, it points at low hanging fruits of Buhari’s headlong confrontation of corruption in the military.
Furthermore, the rescue of the two Chibok girls has exposed the hypocrisy of charlatans in corridors of power like ex-President Jonathan, his wife and Governor Ayodele Fayose who donned the toga of doubting Thomases over the abduction of the Chibok girls. What will they say now? Are Amina Ali and Luka Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) from another planet?
A sixth implication can still be deduced from the rescue of the two girls. We can safely infer that more girls will be found in the days ahead. One of the two girls, Amina Ali, spoke of five other girls who tried to escape with them. They must be hanging out somewhere. Our troops should intensify the search and continue to push deep into Sambisa.
The testimony of Muhammed Hayatu, purported husband of one of the rescued girls, is quite instructive and may form a seventh implication in our postulate. He said hunger and poor health made him surrender. This means that the army’s strategic targeting of Boko Haram logistics, their fuel and food supplies is working.
An eighth inference can still be made. The rescued ‘husband’ claimed that he was not a member of Boko Haram ab initio but was captured by them and forcefully conscripted. This reveals a lot about the modus operandi of the insurgent group.
In retrospect, it is sad that we are witnessing piece-meal rescue today. Had it been early had been good. But it was delayed for too long by the former president who waited for 18 painful days before issuing orders for action. In comparison, 3 girls abducted this year from a Christian seminary in Lagos were rescued within 48 hours because the Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, personally joined in the search which started immediately after the abduction. Jonathan’s cold and lackadaisical attitude to the kidnap of the Chibok girls are responsible for the long delay, the pain and the suffering.
MURIC salutes Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents. They are the heroes of our time. But they must not relent. The war against insurgency must be pursued to a logical conclusion in order to serve as a deterrent to religious bigots, rebellious subjects and all enemies of peace.
We appeal to the Federal Government (FG) to properly and fully rehabilitate the girls. It is reassuring that President Buhari has declared that Amina Ali would go back to school. We suggest that FG should give scholarship to all rescued Chibok girls up to tertiary level.
We urge parents of the Chibok girls and the entire Chibok community to exercise patience. The issue of rescuing kidnapped persons is highly technical. It can boomerang if not properly handled. This rescue has shown light at the end of the tunnel. It has also proved that Nigeria has not forgotten the girls. You are not alone. We stand by you at these moments of grief. We share your pain.
Finally, we congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for this great feat. There is no doubt that the rescues were made possible by the full support he gave the Nigerian military as well as his ‘no-nonsense’ mien. Mr. President has also won the hearts of Nigerians by opening the doors of Aso Rock to Amina Ali, the first rescued Chibok girl within 48 hours of her gaining freedom.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)