President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle has called on the Federal Government to ensure the immediate release of the remaining girls who are still with Boko Haram.
The Christian association also commended President Muhammadu Buhari on what it called “breakthrough recorded in the release of 21 of the kidnapped Chibok girls.”
The insurgents released 21, out of the 219 girls abducted on April 14, 2014.
Minister of Information and Culture told newsmen soon after the girls were released that no ransom was paid. He also said there was no prisoner swap with Boko Haram.
President Buhari, who was away in Germany on a state visit, also said negotiations were ongoing to free the remaining girls still in captivity.
Regardless, at a thanksgiving service in Abuja, yesterday, the rescued girls were reconciled with their families after over two years in Boko Haram captivity.
Ayokunle, in a press statement by his spokesman, Bayo Oladeji, described the girls’ release as great and pleasant since the beginning of the year and assured government of CAN’ s prayers to ensure everyone of the Chibok girls still in captivity is released.
“Let government be aware that CAN is with them in prayer in getting the rest of the girls released.
“CAN rejoices with the parents of the released girls and we are still praying that the parents of the remaining girls would soon be reunited with their own very soon in Jesus name”.
The CAN boss specifically appealed to the insurgents holding the rest of the girls captive to release them.Ayokunle also appealed to the federal government to go beyond the release of the girls back to their parents, but organise a special rehabilitation program in collaboration with CAN for the girls that would cover their full integration into the society again.
Meanwhile, President of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Pastor Abraham Akinosun has advised government to use any means to ensure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. “Some were saying Boko Haram prisoners were exchanged for the girls, some said they were freely released, whatever the method used, the end seems to justify the means.
“All we are after is for the rest of the girls to be released to join their families. That is what will give us lasting happiness.”
The cleric said this at the Pastors’ Conference of the church at the weekend having earlier paid a courtesy visit to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Akinosun commended the federal government and the Armed Forces for crushing Boko Haram but advised them not to relent.
He also called on tgovernment to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping, which according to him was assuming a terrifying dimension.
“Many people may be blaming the current economic downturn in the country for the upsurge in kidnapping. But as Lord Denning pointed out many years ago, no one is justified to commit evil on the ground of expediency.
“The Bible also affirms that the wicked have gone astray from their mothers’ womb… (Psalm 58: 3).
“While the evil-minded people will perpetrate their evil, no matter the state of the economy, government should devise means of combating this evil in a holistic way because kidnapping is an ill-wind which blows no one any good. No one can guess who is going to be the next victim,” he said.
The Apostolic Church cleric, explained that if State of emergency was declared on violent crimes, the law enforcement agencies would be empowered to cordon off criminal communities and conduct house-to-house search in order to confiscate illegal arms found there.
Akinosun also suggested that the Federal Government should liaise with the state governments to return schools taken over from missionaries to them to assist in education of values to coming generations.