Ongoing Plight Of The Chibok Girls

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As we celebrated Easter this past weekend, it also marked three years since some of the Chibok girls have been in captivity. As most of us enjoyed the celebrations by visiting family and friends and going on picnics and to parks, these girls were subjected to another Easter without their parents, family and friends.
It would be recalled that on the night of 14–15 April three years ago, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by the insurgency group – Boko Haram. Over the course of the next few months though, 57 of the schoolgirls managed to escape.
In May 2016, a breath of fresh air blew soothing relief to many connected and concerned with the missing girls when one of the missing girls was found. She further reinforced our hopes when she stated that many of the remaining girls were still in captivity at a time when malicious rumours were rife that the girls had been murdered.
In October the same year, the world awoke to the exhilarating news that 21 of the girls had been freed. It was reported the government with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government, had brokered their release. The next month and subsequently in January this year, one of the girls was rescued while another was found.
Thus far, out of the 276 Schoolgirls that were abducted, 57 escaped, 4 have been found/rescued while 21 have been released. Alas, 195 of the girls are still missing. This is still a huge number of innocent teenage girls under the hands of ruthless, senseless, raving lunatics.
I can still vividly recall when international attention was brought to the plight of the abducted girls. At a time when there were still doubts and denials over their abduction, the global response to the movement started off as a handful of Tweets particularly by Nigerian citizens.
Pretty soon, social media especially Twitter went agog with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls as many well-known figures joined in on the global call for the release of the girls. It was during this time that the dogged and audacious Bring Back Our Girls movement within our clime was born. The group is still holding forth to this day, still clamouring for the release/rescue of the remaining girls.
As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine how my life would have been if my child was under captivity for the past three years. As a parent, I can only imagine the pains parents of the abducted girls would be going through. As a Nigerian and human being, it is a harrowing feeling knowing that these girls are still under the mercy and control of such a violent group of hoodlums.
My heart goes out to the families of the girls. I can only imagine the psychological tortures of not knowing where your daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin or friend is for the past three years. I can only imagine the life of servitude that these innocent teenage girls would be made to go through under the hands of these murderous lunatics.
Truth be told, the previous government bungled early opportunities of going after the abductors and the girls. From all indications, they didn’t handle the abduction of the girls as a matter of urgency. They wasted valuable time as they dragged their feet in ascertaining whether the girls were actually abducted.
Every savvy security operative knows that the first 48 hours are very critical in abduction cases. After which it’s difficult in locating the abductor or abductee especially alive. The previous government also adopted a laid back approach when the insurgents held many territories captive, further making their rescue/release extremely difficult.
It must be said that the present government has done considerably well in ensuring that the insurgency has been crippled. What remains now is to clean out the fleeing remnants of the insurgent group. The commendable efforts of the military have resulted in a “fait accompli”. Peace is slowly but surely returning to the Northeastern parts as inhabitants and indigenes of affected communities have begun returning home.
This feat by the military has thus restored the prior tarnished dignity of our Armed forces. It has also, enabled for a great number of women and children to be freed from the clutches of the dastard insurgents and assisted to return home to their families and loved ones. Undoubtedly, the crippling of the insurgent group has also enabled for the release/rescue of the Chibok girls from the den of the insurgents, raising a flicker of hope that the remaining girls will be released/rescued in the nearest future.
I can still recall the 13th of October last year when the 21 girls were released. As I watched the ensuing reunion on TV with their parents and families, I couldn’t hold back the tears that had begun to roll down freely. As I continued to watch teary-eyed, the girls and their parents upon sighting one another, ran in to each other’s embrace, hugging, crying and making merry, oblivious of the drizzle that had suddenly began. Apparently, the heavens were also delighted over their reunion.
One particular image that was very touching and has stayed with me was when a parent of one of the girls carried his child piggyback. They began dancing and clapping and were obviously elated to be in each other’s arms. Watching parents and their children in tight embrace, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what the girls would have been subjected to in the hands of the insurgents. Indeed it was a glorious sight to behold.
As I still bask in the mental image of the released girls, kudos must be given to the Buhari-led administration for reaching this far concerning the security situation in the Northeast and the plight of the girls. However, more still needs to be done and can be done in ensuring that the remaining girls are reunited with their families as well as other innocents still in the clutches of the dastard insurgents.
Importantly, kudos must also be given to the #Bringbackourgirls movement, for sustaining and keeping alive the cry and agitation for the rescue of the girls. Our prayers and cries have not been in vain and we shall continue our agitations until all captives under the brutal clutches of the insurgents are rescued or released. We must continue to demand the release of the remaining 195 Chibok girls.
Finally, I would like to particularly reach out to the parents of some of the girls still under captivity. As a parent, I can only claim of a vague understanding of what you have been going through for the past three years, and especially since other girls have returned and reunited with their parents.
Take heart and wait a little longer, you will soon be also reunited with your children, By The Grace Of God. You have waited for this long, God willing, their release/rescue wouldn’t take that much time anymore hopefully. So many Nigerians understand your plight and share your pains. We are all praying with you and doing all we can in making sure the government hears our cries and does all they can in bringing your children safely back home.

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