Joy as 21 Chibok Girls are Released
Three Catholic leaders welcomed the release of some of the girls kidnapped in 2014 from a school in Chibok and urged the Nigerian government to prioritise the release of the remaining girls.
Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, retired archbishop of Lagos, said he had mixed feelings when he heard the news of the release of 21 of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, because he felt like they should have been released before now. Two-hundred-seventy-six girls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in Chibok April 14, 2014; 57 escaped the same day and one two years later.
Their release of the 21 girls was part of a deal brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss and Nigerian governments.
Bishop Matthew Ishaya Audu of Lafia told CNS that he was happy the girls were still alive.
“We pray that the remaining ones will be released very soon,” he said.
The bishop urged the government to arrange for counsellors and psychologists so the young women could be fully integrated into society.
Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye of Ekiti said Nigerians should thank God for the girls’ release and echoed calls for the government to help rehabilitate them.
“Nigerians must come together to fight evil and savagery in our country,” he added.
Leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign said they would continue to work until all the girls were released or rescued. By Peter Ajayi Dada Catholic News Service