On April 14, 2014 Boko Haram extremists invaded the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, brought out over 200 girls from their dormitories into an open space and ordered them into a line of trucks, set the school on fire and drove off with their captives. Unchallenged. By the time the gunmen completed their atrocious mission, it was April 15. The extremists who wore military camouflage pretending they were there to rescue the students against attack from the Bko Haram extremists. But after they had gathered them, they started to shout “Allah wa kubar!” That was when it dawned on the young girls they were in the hands of the extremists.
Distraught parents on hearing the tragic news hired motorcyclists, bows and arrows in their hands headed for Sambisa forest, where the girls was believed to have been taken. They never got there. They were warned by villagers that daring to go on was nothing but suicide because the extremists were heavily armed.
Devastated Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno State rushed down to Aso Rock, the seat of power of Nigerian President to tell a heart-rending story of how over 200 girls were snatched off their hostel by Boko Haram insurgents. Incredible it sounded but it was true.
It is a month, and the parents of 234 high school girls abducted in Borno State in Nigeria don’t know where they are. You can imagine the pains in their hearts. The chief of the Chibok community in Abuja, Hosea Sambido, said the uncertainty left mothers in his home town unable to eat and had forced fathers into the bush in desperate search of their daughters.
Parenting is one of life’s greatest responsibilities. As soon as God bless a couple with children, there is an automatic transformation that demands a great deal of responsibility to God and society to ensure that the children are properly nurtured and cared for in the home until they are adults.
This process of practically nurturing and caring for children includes: housing, clothing, feeding –physical and spiritual feeding, counseling, guiding, monitoring, protecting and educating; that adds up to balanced and responsible parenting.
Education is universally acknowledged as the vehicle of development in any society. No nation is known to have developed without quantitative and qualitative education of her citizens irrespective of gender. Girl child education is as important as that of the male children. It has been proved beyond doubt that intelligence is not gender specific.
They had murdered many students by attacking their dormitories in the night when the students were asleep. The leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau appeared on a video Monday, May 5, 2014 claiming responsibility for the abduction and threatened to sell the girls into slavery. .
After the Shekau’s video of the abducted girls, there was a global outrage, with world leaders and celebrities joining the campaign for the girls return. The United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Pope Francis, President Barrack Obama, Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, Clinton’s wife and former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Bill Gates, the former Secretary General of United Nations Kofi Annan, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a shooting by Taliban insurgents, have joined the push for the rescue of the Chibok girls. UNICEF and Amnesty International and celebrities including Wyclef Jean, CNN anchor Christine Amanpour, and Chris Brown and actors Sean Penn, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper have also joined the campaign of #BringBackOurGirls which is now in twitter.
The United Nations promptly warned the group that that will be crime against humanity. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria on May 6, 2014 accepted the offer of President of the United States, Barrack Obama to send experts to assist Nigeria’s troops toward rescuing the abducted 234 high school girls in Chibok, Borno State. The Department of State, in a factsheet released by the Office of its Spokesperson in Washing DC, quoted the Secretary of State John Kerry as saying: “The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian Government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on May 14, 2014 in parliament: “Today I can announce we have offered Nigeria further assistance in terms of surveillance aircraft, a military team to embed with the Nigerian army in their headquarters and a team to work with United States experts to analyze information on the girls location. The world is coming together not just to condemn it but to do everything we can to help the Nigerians find these young girls.”
There have been many protests in many Nigerian cities such as Ibadan, Kastina, Osogbo, Lagos, Jos, Abuja, and other cities across the globe like, Washington, Los Angeles, Dublin and London, demonstrators have put on red T-shirts to draw attention to the girls’ plight, demand for their release, and vent a deepening sense of anger. Further protests are being planned in South Africa, Jamaica and Switzerland.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, has said the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok is unacceptable. “The abduction of school girls in Chibok on 14 April has been widely condemned by the United Nations including the Secretary General and the UN Security Council. I wish to reiterate the strong condemnation by the United Nations of this unacceptable act of innocent girls. I wish to reiterate the United Nations’ solidarity with the abducted school girls and their families, the people and Government of Nigeria.”
Some Nigerians have taken the opportunity to engage in partisan bickering –playing politics with every sorry national disaster. The sensible thing to do is for all Nigerians irrespective of religious or political affiliation to join in the campaign to #BringBackOurGirls. They were being held captive in the wild Sambisa forest in Borno State, where Boko Haram has a heavily armed camp of bunkers, tunnels, ramshackle buildings and tents. But security has it that they has been moved. Two of the girls have been reported dead from snake bite and twenty others are ill.
Northern governors’ wives at the 14 meeting of Northern Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) held at the Nasarawa State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja said: “We must ensure members of this terrorist group and their sponsors are brought to justice.”
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ruled out freeing Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for the release of the kidnapped school girls. The pain in the hearts of these girls’ parents who thought they wanted to bequeath the best legacy to their children before the agents of darkness abducted them must be unbearable. However, it is consoling that foreign teams of experts from United States, Britain, Israel, and France are in the country to assist the security forces in tracking them down. Let all of us join the clarion call: “#BringBackOurGirls.”