700 days on, still no sign of Chibok girls
From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – FAINT hopes and confusion have characterised the commemoration of the 700 days to the abduction of the more than 200 schoolgirls by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State.
Monday marks exactly 700 days to the day the militant Islamic sect kidnapped the schoolgirls much to the chagrin of the international community.
“About 100 days ago, we marked 600 days. Next (this) Monday will make it 700 days since our Chibok girls were abducted,” the Bring Back our Girls Group (BBOG), reminded.
The organisation pinned its hope on breakthroughs that culminated in security agents helping rescue the abducted Ikorodu girls.
Three girls were seized from a dormitory last Monday at the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in the eastern suburb of Ikorodu in the commercial capital.
The minors have since resumed school and also had relevant medical check-ups.
“We hope that, like the Ikorodu Girls and Ese of Bayelsa, the Chibok girls will also be found and reunited with their families,” BBOG stated.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day last Tuesday, in a show of solidarity to the Chibok girls, a march against Boko Haram was held at The Hague, Switzerland.
Consequently, a campaign was launched to encourage support for women and girls return to their communities after release from militant groups.
The recent state visit by South African President, Jacob Zuma, at the invitation of President Muhammadu Buhari also sparked hope.
“Our hearts and prayers are always with the Chibok Girls. We remain hopeful and trust that your efforts will bear positive results,” BBOG quoted Zuma as telling his Nigerian counterpart.
Zuma’s visit coincided with International Women’s Day.
Hopes were further raised when it emerged that following Zuma’s visit to Nigeria, South Africa would send Special Forces to aid the fight against Boko Haram.
But amid some confusion, these have been dashed after South Africa dismissed the reports.
On the night of April 14-15, 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in Chibok.
A few of the schoolgirls managed to escape.
Some 220 remain captive, with reports some may have died while others have been forced to marriage.
Buhari assumed power after the pledge to eliminate the scourge of terrorism but while the army has announced some breakthroughs, the Boko Haram still maintains its reign of terror that has spilled into neighbouring countries.
– CAJ News
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