Abuja — Amid the rising clamour for the release of the names and photographs of the schoolgirls who were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday released the names of 180, which it said were kidnapped from the school.
Since their abduction, efforts to get the authorities to release the names of the girls and their photographs have proved abortive, raising questions as to why their identities have been shrouded in secrecy.
However, the names of the girls released by CAN was not verified by the police and security forces, Borno State Government, the state Ministry of Education and the school authorities.
When contacted, the Special Adviser, Media to the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Isa Gusau, said he could not verify the list.
But in the statement issued by the body, CAN said the kidnapping was premeditated and particularly targeted at Christians, as Chibok is a predominantly Christian community.
It added that about 90 per cent of the residents are Christians, while the rest are of the Muslim faith.
The names of the Christian girls as provided by CAN were as follows: Deborah Abge Christian, Awa Abge, Hauwa Yirma, Asabe Manu, Mwa Malam Pogu, Patiance Dzakwa, Saraya Mal. Stover, Mary Dauda, Gloria Mainta, Hanatu Ishaku, Gloria Dama and Tabitha Pogu. Others were Maifa Dama, Ruth Kollo, Esther Usman, Awa James, Anthonia Yahonna, Kume Mutah, Aisha Ezekial, Nguba Buba, Kwanta Simon, Kummai Aboku, Esther Markus, Hana Stephen, Rifkatu Amos, Rebecca Mallum, Blessing Abana, Ladi Wadai, Tabitha Hyelampa and Ruth Ngladar. Also, Safiya Abdu, Naomi Yahonna, Solomi Titus, Rhoda John, Rebecca Kabu, Christy Yahi, Rebecca Luka, Laraba John, Saratu Markus, Mary Usman, Debora Yahonna, Naomi Zakaria, Hanatu Musa, Hauwa Tella, Juliana Yakubu, Suzana Yakubu, Saraya Paul, Jummai Paul, Mary Sule and Jummai John, were included on the list. Other girls included: Yanke Shittima, Muli Waligam, Fatima Tabji, Eli Joseph, Saratu Emmanuel, Deborah Peter, Rahila Bitrus, Luggwa Sanda, Kauna Lalai, Lydia Emmar, Laraba Maman, Hauwa Isuwa, Comfort Habila, Hauwa Abdu, Hauwa Balti, Yana Joshua, Laraba Paul, Saraya Amos, Glory Yaga and Naomi Bitrus.
In addition, the names of Godiya Bitrus, Awa Bitrus, Naomi Luka, Maryamu Lawan, Tabitha Silas, Mary Yahona, Ladi Joel, Rejoice Sanki, Luggwa Samuel, Comfort Amos, Saraya Samuel, Sicker Abdul, Talata Daniel, Rejoice Musa, Deborah Abari, Salomi Pogu, Mary Amor, Ruth Joshua, Esther John, Esther Ayuba, Maryamu Yakubu, Zara Ishaku, Maryamu Wavi, Lydia Habila, Laraba Yahonna, Naomi Bitrus, Rahila Yahanna, Ruth Lawan, Ladi Paul and Mary Paul, were included on the list.
Others on the list were: Esther Joshua, Helen Musa, Margret Watsai, Deborah Jafaru, Filo Dauda, Febi Haruna, Ruth Ishaku, Racheal Nkeki, Rifkatu Soloman, Mairama Yahaya, Saratu Dauda, Jinkai Yama, Margret Shettima, Yana Yidau, Grace Paul, Amina Ali, Palmata Musa, Awagana Musa, Pindar Nuhu and Yana Pogu. Other girls' names on the list included: Saraya Musa, Hauwa Joseph, Hauwa Kwakwi, Hauwa Musa, Maryamu Musa, Maimuna Usman, Rebeca Joseph, Liyatu Habitu, Rifkatu Yakubu, Naomi Philimon, Deborah Abbas, Ladi Ibrahim, Asabe Ali, Maryamu Bulama, Ruth Amos, Mary Ali and Abigail Bukar.
Also, the names of Deborah Amos, Saraya Yanga, Kauna Luka, Christiana Bitrus, Yana Bukar, Hauwa Peter, Hadiza Yakubu, Lydia Simon, Ruth Bitrus, Mary Yakubu, Lugwa Mutah, Muwa Daniel, Hanatu Nuhu, Monica Enoch, Margret Yama, Docas Yakubu, Rhoda Peter, Rifkatu Galang, Saratu Ayuba, Naomi Adamu, Hauwa Ishaya, Rahap Ibrahim, Deborah Soloman, Hauwa Mutah, Hauwa Takai and Serah Samuel, were included on the list.
CAN also gave the names of the Muslim schoolgirls who were abducted as: Aishatu Musa, Aishatu Grema, Hauwa Nkeki, Hamsatu Abubakar, Mairama Abubakar, Hauwa Wule, Ihyi Abdu, Hasana Adamu, Rakiya Kwamtah, Halima Gamba, Aisha Lawan, Kabu Malla, Yayi Abana, Falta Lawan and Kwadugu Manu
In the statement issued on behalf of CAN by the President and Founder of the Old Time Revival Hour, Kaduna and past Chairman of Northern States Christian and Elders' Forum (NOSEF), Mr. Mathew Owojaiye, the Christian body also condemned their abduction by Boko Haram, describing it as "the height of abomination".
"Daughters of Zion taken captive to be treated as slaves and sold into marriage to unclean people. Abomination has been committed. Raise lamentation to the High Heavens. What a shame on the Church of the Living God," he lamented.
He explained that Chibok Local Government Area is made up of 90 per cent Christians, stressing therefore that a majority of the girls abducted are Christians.
"Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok Local Government? Why didn't they visit so many other local government (girls') secondary schools in Borno State? The Church in Nigeria is hereby called to a lamentation prayer," he said.
Owojaiye added that going by recent fruitless efforts by the armed forces to tame the Boko Haram insurgents, there was no assurance that they would be able to rescue the girls.
"The military may not be able to solve the problem but prayers will. Ordinary military force may not get them out, intensive agonising prayers will," he said.
As part of the rehabilitation efforts, the body also recommended N50 million as compensation to each of the girls whenever they are released from their captors, adding: "Preparations to take each girl overseas to universities on government scholarship by September 2014 should also be considered. Preparations for that must start now." On the way forward, Owojaiye said it had become expedient for every Christian home to pray for the safety and release of the girls.
Sect Willing to Consider Release of Girls Meanwhile, members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, who kidnapped the schoolgirls, have said they are "willing to consider" the release of those who have not already been trafficked abroad and sold into marriage.
The girls' abductors, who have been in regular direct contact with a government intermediary, also told Channel 4 News, a British television station, three of their teenage captives have died - although they did not state how this happened. Eighteen others, they said, are now sick.
The intermediary told Channel 4 News that the al-Qaeda-affiliated group has threatened to kill the remaining hostages if there is any attempt by the Nigerian military to rescue the girls.
On Wednesday, the government admitted for the first time that it had officially engaged the services of the negotiator. It declined to reveal his identity. He told Channel 4 News that he wishes to remain anonymous for reasons of personal security.
The intermediary has, however, been in regular, direct contact with senior members of the terrorists who claim to be holding the girls, for several days now.
He has maintained links with Boko Haram for nearly a decade and has successfully negotiated past hostage releases.
It is not clear how many of the over 200 girls remain in Nigeria, following reports that they had been split into smaller groups and some moved into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroun and sold for a bride-price of less than N2,000 each, following their forcible conversion to Islam.
Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility for the mass kidnap, which happened in Chibok in North-eastern Borno State three weeks ago, but the group is considered the only likely perpetrator.
Earlier last week, following initial contact with the intermediary, the abductors had agreed to provide a list of the names of the schoolgirls they claimed they were still holding, as proof of life. So far, they have not delivered this list.
The intermediary, who has relayed the abductors' demands to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, told Channel 4 News that Boko Haram is actively 'considering a deal" by which most of the girls who remain in Nigeria could be released.
The group did not explain to the intermediary what had happened to the three girls it said had died. It is possible that they were killed while attempting to escape, as 52 of the girls have now done.
Reports in other media cite a community elder in Chibok as saying that he too had learned of some deaths, reportedly from snakebites. But those familiar with the brutal practices of Boko Haram said it is just as likely that the girls had been subjected to extreme physical violence and abuse. This is something of which the girls' parents as well as women's groups have expressed grave fears.
Drug-taking among members of the group is commonplace and they are often high on drugs when they launch frenzied attacks.
The intermediary told Channel 4 News that the longer the crisis was allowed to drag on, the worse - and more complex - the situation would get.
New Yorkers Protest But as the search for the schoolgirls continues, hundreds of frustrated New Yorkers descended on Union Square with bullhorns and signs at the weekend to protest the federal government's inaction with respect to rescuing the girls from their abductors.
"I am angry!" shouted Makho Ndlovu, 32, of Brooklyn. "It makes no sense that girls can be abducted and the world doesn't care. I am angry! To the Nigerian government, our eyes are watching. To Barack Obama, our eyes are watching. To the United Nations, our eyes are watching," the protester was quoted by the New York Daily News as stating.
"The government has been nonchalant about handling this situation," said Daniel Emeka, 26, of Union, N.J.
The struggle for Nigeria is playing out thousands of miles from New York, but demonstrators said it means the world to them.
Emeka, who has relatives still living in Nigeria, said his father was abducted in the populous, oil-rich nation four years ago and released only after his family paid a ransom. "It touches me personally," he said. "It's the most terrible thing to go through - not knowing if they're dead or alive."
The Union Square crowd chanted, "Bring our girls back," and protesters waved posters with messages like, "The world is watching" and "Save our girls." Gugulethu Mlambo, who organised the rally, said she never expected to draw so many people.
"It was just going to be my friends," said Mlambo of Hoboken, N.J., who hails from South Africa. The 33-year-old said she posted a notice on Instagram and watched it go viral. "These are our little cousins out there," explained MaameYaa Boafo of Harlem. "We need them home."
ABDUCTED students Christian Girls 1 Deborah Abge Chrstian 2. Awa Abge 3. Hauwa Yirma 4. Asabe Manu 5. Mwa Malam Pogu 6. Patience Dzakwa 7. Saraya Mal. Stover 8. Mary Dauda 9. Gloria Mainta 10. Hanatu Ishaku 11. Gloria Dama 12. Tabitha Pogu 13. Maifa Dama 14. Ruth Kollo 15. Esther Usman 16 Awa James 17 Anthonia Yahonna 18 Kume Mutah 19 Aisha Ezekial 20 Nguba Buba 21 Kwanta Simon 22 Kummai Aboku 23 Esther Markus 24 Hana Stephen 25. Rifkatu Amos 26 Rebecca Mallum 27. Blessing Abana 28. Ladi Wadai 29. Tabitha Hyelampa 30 Ruth Ngladar 31 Safiya Abdu 32 Naomi Yahonna 33 Solomi Titus 34 Rhoda John 35 Rebecca Kabu 36. Christy Yahi 37. Rebecca Luka 38. Laraba John 39 Saratu Markus 40. Mary Usman 41. Debora Yahonna 42. Naomi Zakaria 43. Hanatu Musa 44. Hauwa Tella 45. Juliana Yakubu 46. Suzana Yakubu 47. Saraya Paul 48. Jummai Paul 49. Mary Sule 50. Jummai John 51. Yanke Shittima 52. Muli Waligam 53. Fatima Tabji 54. Eli Joseph 55. Saratu Emmanuel 56. Deborah Peter 57. Rahila Bitrus 58. Luggwa Sanda 59. Kauna Lalai 60. Lydia Emmar 61. Laraba Maman 62. Hauwa Isuwa 63. Comfort Habila 64. Hauwa Abdu 65. Hauwa Balti 66. Yana Joshua 67. Laraba Paul 68. Saraya Amos 69. Glory Yaga 70. Naomi Bitrus 71. Godiya Bitrus 72. Awa Bitrus 73. Na'omi Luka 74. Maryamu Lawan 75. Tabitha Silas 76. Mary Yahona 77. Ladi Joel 78. Rejoice Sanki 79. Luggwa Samuel 80. Comfort Amos 81. Saraya Samuel 82. Sicker Abdul 83. Talata Daniel 84. Rejoice Musa 85. Deborah Abari 86. Salomi Pogu 87. Mary Amor 88. Ruth Joshua 89. Esther John 90. Esther Ayuba 91. Maryamu Yakubu 91. Zara Ishaku 93. Maryamu Wavi 94. Lydia Habila 95. Laraba Yahonna 96. Naomi Bitrus 97. Rahila Yahanna 98. Ruth Lawan 99. Ladi Paul 100. Mary Paul 101. Esther Joshua 102. Helen Musa 103. Margret Watsai 104. Deborah Jafaru 105. Filo Dauda 106. Febi Haruna 107. Ruth Ishaku 108. Racheal Nkeki 109. Rifkatu Soloman 110. Mairama Yahaya 111. Saratu Dauda 112. Jinkai Yama 113. Margret Shettima 114. Yana Yidau 115. Grace Paul 116. Amina Ali 117. Palmata Musa 118. Awagana Musa 119. Pindar Nuhu 120. Yana Pogu 121. Saraya Musa 122. Hauwa Joseph 123. Hauwa Kwakwi 125. Hauwa Musa 126. Maryamu Musa 127. Maimuna Usman 128. Rebeca Joseph 129. Liyatu Habitu 130. Rifkatu Yakubu 131. Naomi Philimon 132. Deborah Abbas 133. Ladi Ibrahim 134. Asabe Ali 135. Maryamu Bulama 136. Ruth Amos 137. Mary Ali 138. Abigail Bukar 139. Deborah Amos 140. Saraya Yanga 141. Kauna Luka 142. Christiana Bitrus 143. Yana Bukar 144. Hauwa Peter 145. Hadiza Yakubu 146. Lydia Simon 147. Ruth Bitrus 148. Mary Yakubu 149. Lugwa Mutah 150. Muwa Daniel 151. Hanatu Nuhu 152. Monica Enoch 153. Margret Yama 154. Docas Yakubu 155. Rhoda Peter 156. Rifkatu Galang 157. Saratu Ayuba 158. Naomi Adamu 159. Hauwa Ishaya 160. Rahap Ibrahim 162. Deborah Soloman 163. Hauwa Mutah 164. Hauwa Takai 165. Serah Samuel Muslim Girls 166. Aishatu Musa 167. Aishatu Grema 168. Hauwa Nkeki 169. Hamsatu Abubakar 170. Mairama Abubakar 171. Hauwa Wule 172. Ihyi Abdu 173. Hasana Adamu 174. Rakiya Kwamtah 175. Halima Gamba 176. Aisha Lawan 177. Kabu Malla 178. Yayi Abana 179. Falta Lawan 180. Kwadugu Manu