By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
The National Coordinator of the Emerging Leaders’ Forum, Alhaji Aminu Balele, has called on the Federal Government to declare a public holiday in honour of the 82 rescued Chibok schoolgirls.
Balele, who made the call while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, said the public holiday if declared would enable Nigerians to rejoice and offer prayers for the release of the remaining girls and other Nigerians in captivity.
The 82 girls were released by their captors on Saturday in exchange for five Boko Haram (commanders) suspects held by the Federal Government.
They were released to international negotiators who have been working in collaboration with the Federal government for their safe return since they were kidnapped in April 2014.
Balele also known as Dan-Arewa, described the release of the girls as good news for Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.
“If this incident happens in the (United States) US, the American government would surely declare a public holiday to celebrate and thank God,’’ he said.
He commended the nation’s security agencies as well as local and international communities for their efforts in ensuring the release of the girls.
He urged well meaning Nigerians particularly the women to come out and show appreciation to the government and security agencies over the successful release of the girls.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday hosted the 82 rescued Chibok schoolgirls to a light reception shortly before he departed for London on medical vacation.
The President, at the reception, described the rescue of 82 Chibok schoolgirls as a pleasant 2nd anniversary gift to Nigerians.