Abuja – The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Tuesday called for support for the Nigerian Army in its fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
Jonathan made the appeal when she hosted children during the National Children’s Day Celebration at the State House in Abuja.
She also appealed to the members of Boko Haram to release the abducted Chibok schoolgirls safe.
“This is the time for us Nigerians to put or 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 I; we should pray for them and encourage them.
“Some of them have lost their lives in serving their fatherland, why can’t we join them in prayers at this period?” Jonathan asked.
The first lady said that it was bad to speak ill of the leaders of the country and service men.
She added that “God has commanded us to pray for them, therefore, it is our responsibility as citizens to pray, especially for the development of the nation.’’
The first lady also urged the children to pray for the release of the abducted girls because it was their right to be educated.
Jonathan urged the children to be ambassadors of peace and pledged her continued commitment to ensure that peace reigned in the country.
Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, said the s celebration was devoid of fanfare because the first lady was sensitive to the situation in the country.
She 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.
He urged them to go to school and be educated in order to become better citizens and also 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 girls.
The parliament said the demand by the insurgents for the exchange of the abducted girls for their members in prison custody was unacceptable.
Also, the members presented the first lady with a banner with the inscription: “Boko Haram Release Our Sisters”. (NAN)


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