FORMER president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, appealed to the abductors of the Chibok schoolgirls to release
them without any condition, because the girls, according to him, were innocent and should not be made to suffer unreasonably.
Obasanjo made the appeal during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Jigawa government to adopt a junior secondary school and a primary school in Kudai, Dutse.
This came as he faulted the Federal Government over its action leading to the delay in the rescue of abducted girls from their captors.
“A stitch in time saves nine,” he said, adding that “perhaps if there had been a stitch in time, those girls would not have been abducted.”
According to him, “maybe if we had asked for assistance much earlier, this would have been prevented,” while praying that “the belated attempt of calling outsiders to help us would be fruitful.”
Obasanjo said “whatever the grievances, objectives and anger of this group of people who are behind this abduction, they should not have acted on these innocent girls.
“We condemn their action and also appeal to them to release these girls unconditionally, because they have important contributions for the future of this country,” Obasanjo said.
The former president sympathised with the parents of the girls, but added that people should not be discouraged to send their female children to school.
He said Nigerians should see what happened as a “stumble” and not a fall and be challenged to give their girls good education.
He said that his visit to the state was to fulfil a promise he made during Jigawa Economic Summit to adopt a school and transform it to a model on the African continent.
Obasanjo said the gesture was to complement the efforts of Governor Sule Lamido in promoting girl-child education in the state.
Obasanjo also said Governor Lamido “is competent to rule the country in 2015.”
The former president, while answering questions from newsmen, said with the background of the governor, he was capable to rule the country.
“Going by his background, performance and credibility, alongside his exposure and competence, he can stand shoulder to shoulder with anybody,” he said.