7 Years Too Long: #BBOG Conveners Launches Global Campaign in Honour of the 112 Abducted Chibok Schoolgirls Still in Captivity
Today marks exactly seven years 276 girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration.
It was reported that 57 of the girls escaped, 4 were found by Civilian Joint Task Force, 103 were released while 112 are still missing. To this effect, BringBackOurGirls Global is launching a renewed global campaign to bring back the 112 Chibok Girls: “Until All are Free.”
Over the next six months, BBOG Abuja, BBOG Lagos, BBOG New York, and other BBOG groups around the world will come together to push for the logical end to seven years of advocacy, namely the final return of the 112 Chibok Girls who are now young women. They will seek international support and call upon international bodies and governments to ensure that the Nigerian government keeps its promise to Bring Back Our Girls.
A statement released by the conveners states; ”we are tired, we are weary, we are heartbroken, but we are not deterred. We will never give up fighting for our girls until they are all free”.
The Bring Back Our Girls Campaign will from April 14, 2021, hold a series of events which will be held in Lagos, Abuja, New York, and Chibok to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the abduction. They will showcase the stories of Chibok families whose lives have been broken for seven years as they confront the crushing truth of their government’s neglect at these events”.
“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”.
What has happened over seven years to our girls?
They have been raped.
They have been abused.
They have been trafficked.
They have been forced into marriage.
They have been forced to convert against their will.
They have been forcibly impregnated and had children.
They have experienced trauma and untold suffering.
They have become pawns in the hands of a callous and uncaring government.
What has happened to the returned girls of Chibok?
Some of them appear to be fine.
Some are at home and refuse to return to school.
Some have married.
Some feel that education will not afford them an advantage.
What has happened to the families of the girls that have yet to be returned?
All are heartbroken.
Many have died, even in recent days.
Many are very sick.
All want answers.
All feel the government is not hearing them, that their cries are falling on deaf ears.
Their Demands: SEVEN at SEVEN
They are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to take these seven actions NOW!
- Bring back our girls WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY!
- Provide a comprehensive report on the status of all investigations, operations and missions to bring back the remaining 112 Chibok young women, including the release of the General Ibrahim Sabo Report.
- Provide psycho-social support for traumatised Chibok and other affected families and immediately reopen a properly resourced and staffed Chibok Desk at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to keep parents informed and to provide support to families of abducted children.
- Complete and reopen the Government Secondary School, Chibok. In 2016 the Goodluck Jonathan administration pledged 500 million naira to rebuild the school with full state-of-the-art facilities. To date, the school remains closed and uncompleted. We demand the completion of the school, its re-opening and a full investigation and accounting for the funds released.
- Report on the whereabouts of Halima Ali, a captive Chibok girl who was recently able to speak to her father and other family members on the phone and who was allegedly in the hands of the Nigerian authorities, but has not been heard from again.
- Provision of trained security personnel for schools and accountability for the status and progress of the Safe Schools Initiative. We cannot continue to see case after case of children being abducted from their schools. We demand adequate security for all public schools, including emergency response training of staff on early warning protocols.
- An update on the funding and status of the Missing Persons Register programme at the National Human Rights Commission and how the Victim Support Fund has been applied to support victims of the insurgency in the North East, including the families of the Chibok Girls, the Chibok community, other conflict-affected communities and the education of children with no access to local schools.
We are tired, we are weary, we are heartbroken, but we are not deterred. We will never give up fighting for our girls until they are all free’’, the statement said
SIGNED For and on behalf of BBOG Abuja, Lagos & NY
R. Evon Idahosa