By Olawale Jokotoye
Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar on Friday expressed delight over the release of 21 0f the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.
Abubakar expressed his feelings while addressing newsmen at Ake Palace in Abeokuta after a courtesy call on the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 276 female students were kidnapped on 14th of April 2014, at Government Secondary School Chibok in Borno.
At least 57 of the girls escaped from their captors.
The release of the 21 schoolgirls was made possible through government’s negotiation which was brokered by the International Red Cross and Swiss government.
He commended the Federal Government, other nations and organisations involved in the negotiation leading to the release.
Abubakar, who, described the abduction of the Chibok girls and the subsequent mourning to which it threw the entire nation as “a sad episode in the history of Nigeria”, prayed against a re-occurence.
He, however, expressed optimism that the rest of the girls would be released to enable them reunite with their their parents.
Abubakar, who, was the head of the National Peace Committee set up during the 2015 general elections, noted that negotiation and dialogue were crucial to conflict resolution.
He urged the Federal Government to strengthen the approach so as to fast track the resolution of the crisis in the Niger Delta region and other parts of the country.
“Negotiation will always yield fruitful result not only in Nigeria but anywhere in the world where there are crises,” Abubakar said.
Earlier, the Alake of Egbaland described Abubakar as a peace-loving person who midwifed the present Nigerian democratic regime.