Tuesday, April 28, 2015


28th April, 2015


The Nigerian Army yesterday rescued 200 girls and 93 women from the notorious Sambisa forest in a daring raid on the Boko Haram terrorists’ den.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is greatly relieved by this 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.

Yet had it been early had been good, 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.

We attribute 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.

We recall with nostalgia the days when Nigerian soldiers reportedly took to their heels at the approach of Boko Haram fighters. Today we are proud to assert that our soldiers are back in their true form: gallant, heroic and patriotic.

MURIC appeals to the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to treat any other future insurgency with military dispatch before it gets too late. The training and retraining as well as the procurement of state of the art weapons should also be treated with the urgency they require.  

Finally, we remind Nigerians of the price the nation had to pay in the Chibok saga due to the stand of doubting Thomases in official circles. We charge all citizens to stand together as one body in one nation to face the challenges facing our dear country without allowing politics, religion or ethnicity to divide us. From our leaders, we demand vision, courage and unshaken political will.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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