The Northern Christian Youth Professionals has appealed to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to work toward securing the release of the remaining abducted Chibok school girls.
The plea, among the others in the past, is coming nine years after 276 students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, were kidnapped by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014.
The abduction had sparked outrage and condemnation from both local and international media with political leaders and activists putting pressure on former President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the girls, while offering intelligence and technical support.
The pressure continued after the Jonathan administration, elapsed and the incumbent President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) emerged as the new leader in 2015.
However, despite the spirited effort and intervention put in by the Buhari government to facilitate their freedom after the kidnapping, nearly 100 of the girls remain missing.
The Amnesty International has pegged the current number of students still held captive by the radical Islamic sect at 98.
In a statement issued in Abuja, on Friday, the chairman of Northern Christian Youth Professionals, Isaac Abrak, joined Nigerians and the rest of the world to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the schoolgirls’ abduction.
While concluding that the Buhari government tried its best, by having some of the girls released, Abrak enjoined the president-elect to make the freedom of the remaining captives one of his priorities.
Abrak said, “We remember the pain and trauma that the families and loved ones of the abducted girls have had to endure over the years. Our hearts go out to them on this solemn occasion.
“We commend the outgoing government of President Muhammadu Buhari for securing the release of some of the Chibok girls, but we urge the incoming government, led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to prioritise the safe return of the remaining girls from Boko Haram captivity.
“We also urge the incoming government to strengthen security in schools, particularly in Northern Nigeria, to prevent the continued abduction of school children. The recent abduction of 10 school children in Awon community, Kachia Local Government Area in Kaduna State on the 4th of this month is a sad reminder that this problem is still with us,” Abrak sadly noted.
He stressed, “Protecting schools from terrorism will encourage education in the region, which will ultimately empower the minds of our children and youths to reject the falsehoods that foster terrorism in our country. This will naturally weaken and eventually defeat Boko Haram and other forms of terror in our land.
“We encourage the incoming government to engage the fight against terrorism with renewed determination by equipping the security personnel with state-of-the-art weapons and improving their emoluments.
“However, we also identify non-kinetic approaches to the warfare, as a strategic tool in finally weakening, containing and even defeating all forms of terror in Nigeria. These non-kinetic approaches include addressing the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, unemployment, and social inequality, as well as countering extremist propaganda and ideology through education and public awareness campaigns, the importance of this cannot be over emphasised,” the youth leader maintained.