Following the release of 21 Chibok girls on Thursday, October 13, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been heavily criticized over his previous comment that the girls may never be found.

Obasanjo had said earlier this year that “the search for the abducted Chibok girls may not be fruitful. Nobody can bring back the girls because they are nowhere to be found.”

But according to rights activist Yinka Odumakin, Obasanjo really gaffed on the statement he made over the abducted girls at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun state on Friday, February 5, 2016, during a programme organised by the OAU Staff Club tagged Seventh Roundtable with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Odumakin told The Sun: “Does anybody take Obasanjo serious again? It is clear that he goofed that time. He is not somebody to be trusted on his comment over the girls’ condition.”

The Human right activist, on the other hand, asked “What about the rest? Were they released in exchange for the Boko Haram element handed over to the Borno State Government or what?

“I think it will be criminal to release the girls in exchange for the Boko Haram members who have been terrorising the nation all over the place. It will be a shame to release these criminal in exchange for those innocent girls who have committed no crime.”

He added: “Anyway there are a lot of issues to address on this matter. But let’s get the girls back first. We pray that they will all come back to meet their parents.

ALSO READ  Soldiers kill 3 female suicide bombers in Borno

“Let parents whose daughters have not been released be hopeful. Pray that the girls would be released peacefully.”

On his part, legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana described Obasanjo’s comment that the girls may never be found as an error.

Falana said: “When the former President made that statement, I reacted by saying that all hope was not lost. I said that from all indications those girls are still alive. And that the government should intensify efforts to look for them.

“We must commend the BBOG that have for the past three years staged daily protests to remind the government, even when the government believed that that organisation had become an embarrassment.”

He added: “This is the greatest sacrifice that Nigerians have made in terms of reminding the government on a daily basis that these girls have to be brought back. The Bring Back Our Girls and other people were interested in the freedom of these girls and never lost interest at any time.

“We are a people that quickly forget events and human beings because we have lost our sense of shock. That is why when you hear the word ‘trillions of Naira stolen’, Nigerians are not shocked.”

Spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari had announced the release of the girls and the Information minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was a not swap arrangement.