News Analysis – Chibok Girls: Their Lives Will Never Remain The SameFeatured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News Thursday, July 24th, 2014
About 100 days ago the Boko Haram insurgency took a new dimension as over 200 girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were abducted while writing their WAEC exams.
As the news spread in the online media, many Nigerians doubt how the terrorist group will move over 200 girls at night despite the state of emergency in Borno and other 3 North East states. It took federal government 19 days to admit that the girls were actually abducted.
The terrorist leader, Abubakar Shekau in a video released to claim responsibility for the abduction of the girls, ranted that the group would sell the girls.
Sheekau said “I am the one that captured your girls and I will sell them in the market. I have my own market of selling people; it is the owner that instructed me to sell. Yes, I will sell the girls people, I am selling the girls like Allah said until we soak the ground of Nigeria with infidels blood and so called Muslims contradicting Islam.”
The group later demanded for the release of all Boko Haram members in prison in exchange for the girls, offers which Federal Government rejected. Boko Haram to prove that they are in possession of the girls released another video showing the girls reciting Quranic verses while some Christian girls renounced Christianity and embraced Islam.
The international community, other African nations and reputable international crusaders for child’s education condemned the evil act of Boko Haram, thereby pledging their support to help Nigeria rescue the girls alive.
United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Israel and United Nations promised to support Nigeria through intelligence sharing and logistic in its effort to rescue the alive.
French President, Francois Hollande went a step further to convey meeting of Nigeria neighbors which include; Benin Republic, Cameroun, Niger and Chad in Paris in May. The 5 African leaders after highlighting Nigerian porous borders as one of the factors militating against Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, signed a cross border pact to curb the insurgency.
However, a group of campaigner tagged #BringBackOurGirls have been protesting across the world, berating government of not doing enough to rescue the girls.
The main opposition party, APC has also blamed President Jonathan of not proactive to rescue the abducted girls.
APC while condemning Jonathan’s request to borrow $1billion to fight terrorism in the country, says FG should embrace new method and thinking to fight insurgency and not seeking for loan.
The long stay of the girls in captive of Boko Haram attracted 17-year-old girl Pakistani girl-child education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai who visited Nigeria last week.
Malala Yousafzai in her 17 years birthday message said her ultimate is for the over 200 girls abducted to return home safely and continue their education.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan just on Tuesday met parents and 51girls that escaped from Boko Haram captive in fulfillment of his promise to Malala during her three-day visit to Nigeria.
Although, a lot of questions like, how did Boko Haram terrorists move the girls from school to their camp despite state of emergency? Why on earth it takes FG 19 days to admit the abduction? Can’t we get the actual figures of missing students? Why must President wait for Malala before meeting abducted girls parents? and other are still begging for answers.
The fact remains that the lives of families of abducted girls and the girls if eventually released would not be the same again. 100 days is no joke in one’s live, so far 11parents of chibok girls have died due to depression and shock.
Aside sexual molestation that the girls might have suffered from the wicked Boko haram members, their thinking and views would have changed. Majority of the girl’s average age is 20years, it is easy for terrorists to brainwash them.
Therefore, there must be deliberate and effective plans to re-integrate them back into the society if they return back home. Both the state and federal government must ensure they all return to school in safe environment. And President Jonathan must make good his promise that government would take of the girls’ education.
Federal government without delay must work with other stakeholders to ensure the release of the girls without. While opposition party must stop the blame game and come up with useful ideas on how to rescue the Chibok girls and tame boko haram insurgency in the country. We must speak with one voice to Bring Back Our Girls now.
Written by Oyewale Oyelola
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