AFRICA/NIGERIA - Chibok Girls: "Why have we waited three years to negotiate their release?" asks Cardinal Onaiyekan

Monday, 8 May 2017 kidnappings  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "We thank God that these girls have re-embraced their families, but I wonder why they had to wait three years for this to happen", says Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja to Agenzia Fides commenting on the release of 82 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in their school in Chibok on April 14, 2014.
"In all these years I was among those who insistently asked the government to do everything possible to free the girls. The government replied that it could not negotiate for their release with terrorists, exchanging them with some Boko Haram prisoners. But that is what eventually happened. For their release some Boko Haram leaders were released and an important figure was paid. Why did this not happen before, saving three years of suffering for these girls and their families?" asks the Cardinal.
"Three years of anguish that could be have been avoided - he stresses. Among them is a girl with an amputated leg".
"If these girls had been the daughters of some powerful leader would they have lost all this time?" stresses Cardinal Onaiyekan. "We also forget that there are still more than 100 girls whose fate we know nothing about. Some of them probably died during fights, illness or childbirth. At least let families know the fate of these poor girls. I invite everyone to pray for their release", concludes the Cardinal. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 8/5/2017)