Nigeria: Seven Years After, Arise News Goes Back to Chibok

(file photo).
14 April 2021

Exactly seven years after 276 schoolgirls of Government Girls' Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok, Borno State were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents, ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, was at the community to speak with the parents, teachers and relatives of some of the 112 girls, who have remained in captivity.

ARISE NEWS crew was at Chibok, to interview the parents and relatives of the victims.

The programme will be aired today to mark the seventh year anniversary of the incident, and as part of the global efforts to put pressure on the authorities to secure their release.

The girls were abducted on the night of April 14, 2014 by the insurgents but 57 of them escaped from captivity few months later.

While some of the girls were alleged to have died, the insurgents released 21 in May 2016 and another batch of 82 in May 2017 but 112 have remained unaccounted for.

Apart from the intervention by the ARISE NEWS Channel, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement has also renewed its campaign for their release.

In a statement issued yesterday, the group said it was launching an 'Until All Are Free' campaign to get the remaining girls out of captivity.

"We, the parents, relations and supporters of the 112 of our Chibok Girls who remain unaccounted for are disturbed, disconcerted and distressed to know that for seven years, our cries have fallen on deaf ears; for seven years, the children of the rich and elite have grown in opulence and happiness while our beloved young women remain in captivity, forced into lives of unimaginable cruelty and privation," the statement read.

"Even as we observe that other atrocities against Nigerian schoolchildren and students assault the sensibilities of Nigerians, and those children are returned to their families; the fate of our missing 112 Chibok Girls and the continuing trauma of Chibok parents and their communities are slipping from public consciousness and are no longer a priority for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

"On April 14, 2021, we will be holding a series of actions to mark the seven year anniversary of the abduction in Lagos, Abuja, New York and Chibok. In these events, we will highlight the voices of the Chibok families whose lives have been shattered for seven years, as they face the devastating reality of their government's neglect.

"We remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the statement he made at his inauguration in 2015: 'We cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.'

"But the actions - or rather, the inaction - of the federal government over our daughters in repeatedly claiming that the terrorists have been defeated even though our girls remain in bondage, is a painful reminder that this administration does not value the lives of our precious girls. They have been abandoned by the government that is supposed to protect them and promised to do so."

In its seven demands, the group asked the government to bring back the girls without further delay.

It also called on the government to provide a comprehensive report on the status of all investigations, operations, and missions to bring back the remaining 112 girls, and to also "release the report by General Ibrahim Sabo".

The group said in the next six months, BBOG Abuja, BBOG Lagos, BBOG New York, and other BBOG groups around the world will come together to push for a logical end to the seven years of advocacy.

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