The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Wednesday, commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian Army over the rescue of 200 girls and 93 women from the notorious Sambisa Forest in a fierce battle with the Boko Haram group.
The group said it was greatly relieved by the good news.
“We commend Nigerian troops for this heroic feat. We charge the soldiers to leave no stone unturned in their campaign to rid the whole North East of Boko Haram religious bigots.
“We are aware that the identities of the rescued girls have not been ascertained yet. Nonetheless, this is an achievement worth celebrating. Our fervent hope is that they should be the Chibok girls who have been reported kidnapped over a year ago.
“Whether or not the rescued girls are the same Chibok girls whose mass abduction had attracted international outcry, MURIC still deems it fit to congratulate Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, for taking steps to make this happen during the last days of his administration,” it said.
In a statement by the MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, the Muslim group, however, noted that had the rescue been carried out early, it would have brighter the chance of Jonathan in the last general election.
“The early rescue of the girls could have earned President Jonathan a second term in office. But the president dilly-dallied for too long and reports said he did not believe the incident occurred until after 18 days.
“We cannot but add that the Chibok episode has taught future Nigerian and other African leaders a tough lesson in the danger that lies in official procrastination,” it said.
The group attributed the progress currently being made by the Nigerian military in its fight against Boko Haram marauders to three main factors.
“Firstly, the proper attention which the Federal Government recently started paying to the provision of sophisticated weapons. Secondly, the support from Nigeria’s neighbours like Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The third and last factor is the prayers of Nigerians from the churches, mosques and other places,” it said.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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