First Lady calls for support for Nigerian Army against Boko Haram
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has called for support for the Nigerian Army in its fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
Mrs Jonathan spoke yesterday in Abuja when she hosted children during the Children’s Day celebration at the State House.
She also appealed to the members of Boko Haram to release the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
Mrs Jonathan said: “This is the time for us Nigerians to put our differences aside and, with unity of purpose, fight terrorism.
“We should encourage our soldiers who are in the frontline to rescue our beloved daughters. Our men are defending you and me. We should pray for them and encourage them.
“Some of them have died in serving their fatherland. Why can’t we join them in prayers at this period?”
The First Lady noted that it was bad to speak ill of the leaders of the country and the service men.
“God has commanded us to pray for them. Therefore, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to pray, especially for the development of the nation,’’ Mrs Jonathan said.
She urged the children to pray for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls because it was their right to be educated.
The First Lady urged the children to be ambassadors of peace and pledged her continued commitment to ensure that peace reigned in the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, said the celebration was devoid of fanfare because the First Lady was sensitive to the situation in the country.
The minister urged the children to pray for the abducted girls, whom she called “their sisters”, for God to touch the hearts of the abductors to release them.
Also, the Special Assistant to the President on Youth Matters, Mr Jude Imagwe, said President Goodluck Jonathan, was committed to the welfare , education and protection of the youth.
The presidential aide urged pupils to go to school and be educated to become better citizens and contribute to the development of the country.
The highpoint of the event was a session by members of the Children’s Parliament on the security situation in the country with special focus on the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
The parliament said the demand by the insurgents for the exchange of the abducted girls for their members in government’s custody was unacceptable.
Also, the members presented the First Lady with a banner, with the inscription: “Boko Haram Release Our Sisters”.