Two years ago in April the extremist group Boko Haram stormed a girls’ secondary school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria and seized 276 girls. At the time, this massive kidnapping created an enormous worldwide reaction. People “prayed” and “demanded ” that the girls be returned home. At the White House, Michelle Obama tweeted: “Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It is time to #Bring Back Our Girls.” Through social media, millions closely watched all developments.
Whom are they addressing these demands and prayers to? A remorseful Boko Haram suddenly contrite? An efficient and competent Nigerian Government? Or an attentively listening God eager to grant wishes?
Now two years later crowds are marching in the streets of Abuja again chanting and “demanding” the return of the girls. Do they think that the girls who most probably were promptly dispersed into neighboring countries will magically reappear looking just as they did when they were violently snatched by vicious intruders? Boko Haram has killed and kidnapped thousands in a campaign of violence as it (like ISIS ) seeks to establish a caliphate in Africa’s most populous nation. It coerces men to become fighters and girls to be slaves or even suicide bombers.
I recently saw a television interview with a Nigerian girl who had been abducted on another occasion (these raids are a regular occurrence) and who had somehow managed to escape. She had been 13 when she was snatched and was now 17 . She told of girls forcibly married or used as slaves by many of the warriors.
The girl had returned, but with a baby. Instead of being comforted and embraced by her family, she was brutally rejected. Her family wanted to kill the baby. He died later without their help. The girl had “dishonored” the family. She was now a pariah. Throughout the interview the girl played nervously with her shawl. She looked beautiful but her eyes had no expression. She told the interviewer she wanted to return and join Boko Haram and become a suicide bomber. As long as such pernicious attitudes continue to exist in the population, and when a perverted code of honor is invoked, there will never be a safe return for these very unlucky girls.
That attitude…the way people are not taken back, is maddening!
Columbia understood the exact opposite tactics were needed – they advertised into the jungle in various ways that mothers and fathers were waiting for the rebels and would welcome them back with open arms.
A different situation to be sure, most rebels left on their own accord, and were not abducted, but what incentive do the girls have to fight or to try to escape or to do anything but wait to die if this is what awaits them? No hope left in life and only 14 years old.
The government of the day needs to do some grand work to those parents who have their daughter’s abducted, or it will be a waist calling for their release,the girls would not be like they used to be,some will come home with children ,and would the parent except them like they are today?
It’s been several years now since this horrible kidnapping and I think that 107 of the girls have been rescued. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed and only one of the men responsible have been convicted of this crime.
I agree with you here. Do these people think that the girls who most probably were promptly dispersed into neighboring countries will magically reappear looking just as they did when they were violently snatched by vicious intruders? Obviously the group did not kidnap them and keep them all in a mansion in one place feeding them all, clothing and taking care of their needs. I think this is already a lost case unless there is one returnee who made an escape. The group may probably have forgotten where each girl was sent to.
Poor girls! I can’t imagine what they are been put through. My prayers are with them wherever they are. Though it’s been a while the group struck. I pray it will remain just like that. The country used to be a peaceful place. I’ve been there on different occasions and I love the place. It’s just unfortunate that the group is coming to cause mayhem and destruction.
I’m Nigerian and I must say that this greatly affected us in many ways. The story of the girl who escaped, I can’t really confirm that her family didn’t want anything to do with her and that she wanted to go back, all I can say is that the girls who weren’t used as suicide bombers, and who embraced their teachings were treated well and most probably would not want to leave. We just pray that they find peace wherever they are, because as for coming back, that may not be possible like we hope.