Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged parents of Chibok schoolgirls still in Boko Haram custody to be hopeful and have confidence in God.
He said this on Saturday at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, while receiving 30 parents of the schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State, who came to seek his regional and global connections to assist in the release of their daughters from captivity.
Their visit was informed by the recent release of 104 schoolgirls abducted in Dapchi, Yobe State, by the terrorist group.
Obasanjo, in a brief exhortation to the distraught parents, quoted from the Bible using John 16 verse 33.
He said in the world, mortals were bound to face trials and tribulations but they must be hopeful in God, just like Jesus told his disciples.
A total of 276 schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014 at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
He further told the Chibok girls’ parents — comprising 17 women and 13 men, that God does not do evil and they should not despair, adding that God was only building their faith and confidence.
He said whatever God allowed to happen was aimed at strengthening and making them perfect, noting that it could be traumatising not to see the abducted girls for four years on.
He said, “I want to share with you some of my own thoughts about the sovereignty of God and what he can do. He is all knowing, powerful and can do anything.
“Some of the passages in the Holy Bible have similar passages in the Holy Qur’an. (John 16vs 33). I have told you this that you may have peace and confidence in me, but in the world, you will have tribulations, trials and distress, and be undaunted for I have overcome the world.
“That is our Lord Jesus talking to His disciples and all of us who are Christians are Jesus disciples. I understand how you feel now. I understand your pain and anguish. God never does evil. Whatever happens is to strengthen and make us perfect.”
Speaking on behalf of the parents, Mr Yakubu Nkeki, who is the chairman of the abducted girls’ parents, appealed to Obasanjo to use his connections to ensure the release of their daughters to them before April 14.