Catholic Bishop, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has called on Nigerians to make collective efforts for the release of the over 200 Chibok girls who were kidnapped by terrorists on April 14 last year.
Onaiyekan made this call at the occasion of the 4th UFUK Foundation Dialogue and award night which took place yesterday in Abuja.
In an interview with Nigerian Pilot, Cardinal Onaiyekan said he was still hopeful the Chibok school girls would be released if only there is a collective effort by Nigerians and the government.
While lamenting over the fate of the girls, he said, “Who knows what has happened to those daughters of ours. Whenever I think of the Chibok girls I begin to feel strongly that we should not only say bring back our girls we should also begin to say please release our girls. Because it is not only government that must bring back our girls, whoever Boko Haram is definitely has blood through his veins and as human being I beg them to please release those girls to their parents.
‘’How would they like it if their own children are taken away? I think Nigerians should start adding that part to it, not just bring back our girls but also release our girls. Nothing stops them from releasing them. Whether those girls are still the way they were when they were taken, only God knows.
‘’I would say that this government should intensify the famous stick and carrot approach, while they are working strongly on the military level we should also look for other ways, maybe not openly, to also find people who can also talk to them because eventually if we have to live peacefully in this country we have to make the Boko Haram boys begin to think like the rest of us.’’
Meanwhile, the UFUK Foundation yesterday held its 4th Dialogue and peace IFTAR Dinner awards ceremony to promote the culture of co-existence, mutual understanding and improved dialogue among various faiths, cultures and nations.