Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s previous comment that the girls abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State two years ago by Boko Haram may never be found has been described as a gaffe, as 21 of the abductees were released yesterday.
Rights Activist, Mr. Yinka Odumakin told Daily Sun that Obasanjo really gaffed on the statement he made over the abducted girls at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State on Friday February 5, 2016, during a programme organised by the OAU Staff Club tagged Seventh Roundtable with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Does anybody take Obasanjo serious again? It is clear that he goofed that time. He is not somebody to be trusted on his comment over the girls’ condition.” Legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana also acknowledged that Obasanjo’s comment that the girls may never be found as an error.
Obasanjo had said that “the search for the abducted Chibok girls may not be fruitful. Nobody can bring back the girls because they are nowhere to be found.” Spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari had announced the release of the girls yesterday and the Information minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was a not swap arrangement.
“When the former President made that statement, I reacted by saying that all hope was not lost. I said that from all indications those girls are still alive. And that the government should intensify efforts to look for them,” Falana said. “We must commend the BBOG that have for the past three years staged daily protests to remind the government, even when the government believed that that organisation had become an embarrassment. “This is the greatest sacrifice that Nigerians have made in terms of reminding the government on a daily basis that these girls have to be brought back. The Bring Back Our Girls and other people were interested in the freedom of these girls and never lost interest at any time,” he added. “We are a people that quickly forget events and human beings because we have lost our sense of shock. That is why when you hear the word ‘trillions of Naira stolen’, Nigerians are not shocked.” Odumakin, on the other hand, asked “What about the rest? Were they released in exchange for the Boko Haram element handed over to the Borno State Government or what?
“I think it will be criminal to release the girls in exchange for the Boko Haram members who have been terrorising the nation all over the place. It will be a shame to release these criminal in exchange for those innocent girls who have committed no crime,” he said. “Anyway there are a lot of issues to address on this matter. But let’s get the girls back first. We pray that they will all come back to meet their parents. “Let parents whose daughters have not been released be hopeful. Pray that the girls would be released peacefully,” he concluded.