Who do we have to thank for the return of these Chibok Girls?

by Roqeebah Olaoniye

Yesterday in Nigerian News was gloomy enough to have made us turn, in desperation, to the saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sure enough, the universe did not disappoint us and our joy knows no bounds as we share the reports of the release of 21 of the girls who were captured by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014.

We are not only grateful to the universe, we also applaud the efforts of the Presidency who have gone from single digit success in securing the release of the girls to double digits within a little over a year of this administration. We are grateful. President Buhari and his security forces of reckless abandon have proved today that they are capable of bringing us more joy than the opposite.

Now that all protocols have been observed, how was the release 21 of 218 girls secured?

Remember that it was not very long ago that President Buhari and Minister Lai Mohammed were ringing in our ears that the clog in the wheel of negotiations with Boko Haram to secure the release of our girls has been finding reliable channels of negotiation and trusted intermediaries.

In a press statement updating the public about the work that had been done so far to secure the release of the abducted school girls, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, said:

“On those holding the Chibok girls, there was also a high level of mistrust, as they too found many approaches or groups claiming to be in touch with them as false or unreliable.”

President Buhari himself made allusions to these issues when he attended the 71st United Nations General Assembly in September. On the 22nd of September, he invited the United Nations and other credible international bodies to intervene. Explaining that the split in Boko Haram leadership and mutual distrust on both ends had become a problem, he pleaded saying Nigeria “will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in”.

It would appear that the President’s plea was heard and immediately taken up. Barely a month after, we are seeing results of this international mediation.

In the Presidential confirmation of the release of the 21 girls on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu was generous enough to mention the role played by the Swiss Government and the International Red Cross and Crescent in the success attained.

The Swiss Government and International Red Cross and Crescent have proved time and again to be the best and most efficient neutral arbiters in these kinds of situations. It is safe to say that the intervention of any other body would never have yielded these results.

So before we get characteristically carried away and start allotting glory to those we think were instrumental in the release of the girls, let us dedicate this release that we desperately hope is only the first in a series of many (or just one more consisting of 197 girls and many other women and girls abducted by Boko Haram through the years) to the government of Switzerland and the International Red Cross and Crescent.

We are grateful.

Comments (4)

  1. Comment:there is nothing like chibok girls! it is all make-believe! it is politically motivated.

  2. Big Famo

    D international bodies Red Cross & Swiss Government

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