Nine years have passed since the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists. While some of the girls were fortunate enough to escape or be rescued, 96 of them are still missing, with their whereabouts unknown.
The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, which has been advocating for the return of the abducted schoolgirls since the incident occurred, has expressed disappointment with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for failing to fulfill its promise of rescuing all the girls.
In a statement released on Thursday to mark the ninth anniversary of the abduction, the BBOG movement noted that President Buhari had promised in 2015 to rescue all the abducted girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents before claiming victory over Boko Haram.
Despite the efforts of the military in liberating thousands of people, including some of the abducted girls who have since become women, the remaining 96 Chibok girls are yet to be reunited with their families or regain control of their lives.
The BBOG movement has demanded that President Buhari fulfills his promise and rescues the remaining girls and other victims of insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping before his term ends on May 29, 2023. The movement believes that the rescue and rehabilitation of the abducted girls, whose education was interrupted, and the restoration of peace in their communities would be an undeniable legacy of President Buhari’s administration.
In addition to demanding the return of the girls, the BBOG movement has made nine demands, including accountability from the Borno State Government, closure for parents on the fate of their daughters who they believe are dead, psycho-social support for affected families, equipping and completing the education of the returned girls, and providing shelter and empowerment for them to earn a living.
The movement has also called for the adequate financing of the Safe Schools Initiative and the provision of security for all schools at the local, state, and federal levels. The BBOG has scheduled a media conference in Chibok Community (KADA) and a commemorative event at Unity Fountain, Abuja, to mark the ninth anniversary of the abduction.
The continued captivity of the 96 Chibok girls is a tragedy that has gone on for too long. It is time for the Nigerian government to take decisive action and rescue the remaining girls, provide closure for affected families, and restore peace and security to the region. The BBOG movement’s demands are reasonable and should be heeded by the government to ensure that the remaining girls are returned safely and the trauma suffered by their families is addressed.