The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the Nigerian media and commentators to refrain from making statements capable of jeopardizing the successful release of Chibok girls still held by the Boko Haram terror group.
A statement from Mr. Mohammed’s special adviser, Segun Adeyemi, said the minister made the appeal on Sunday in Abuja during a special thanksgiving Church service and reunion program organised for the girls and their families.
“There are many reckless analysts and commentators who are not helping the situation,” Mr. Mohammed was quoted as saying.
“We still have many of our children in captivity. Therefore we have to be careful with the kind of comments that we make. We must not make comments that will make the release of these girls difficult or impossible,” he added.
Twenty one of 218 girls held by the sect since their abduction in April 2016 were released on October 13.
The Nigerian government said the return of the girls was the product of trust and negotiation.
Mr. Mohammed addressed a team of journalists shortly after the release saying no member of the group, detained by government was exchanged for the Chibok girls.
At the thanksgiving service on Sunday, Mr. Mohammed reiterated his earlier statement that government was ready as always to ensure the release of the girls.
“When the President said that the Boko Haram saga will not be closed until all the girls abducted have been released and reunited with their families safely, those who doubted did not believe us so we thank God this day has come,” he said.
“This is the beginning and we are very optimistic that very soon another batch bigger than this will be released. I want to assure you that these negotiations are ongoing even as we speak,” he said
The statement further said parents of the girls, led by their chairman, Yakubu Nkeki, also made a similar appeal to users of the social media.
One of the released girls, Gloria Dame, who spoke on behalf of the others prayed for the release of the remaining girls.
“We never thought we will ever see this moment but God has made it possible for us. I want to appeal to all of us to fast and pray for the safe release of those left behind,” she said.
The preacher, Shiktra Kwali, who delivered the sermon at the event urged the girls to look ahead and forget the past.