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Ten years after the school kidnapping in Nigeria: activists accuse the government of failing

Girls from Chibok who had previously been freed from the hands of Islamist extremists.  (Archive)

“We demand that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his government take responsibility and respond to our demand to bring back our girls,” said Florence Ozor of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign in the capital Abuja on Sunday. She also called on the government to provide families with “a detailed report on the rescue operations for their missing girls.”

On April 14, 2014, the Islamist militia Boko Haram kidnapped 276 students between the ages of twelve and 17 from a boarding school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. The incident shocked the world and became a symbol of Boko Haram’s brutal crackdown in the West African country. Almost 100 young women are still missing today, most of whom are probably still in the hands of extremists.

“Bring Our Girls Back” campaign

At the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign press conference in Abuja, about a dozen people gathered chanting “Bring back our girls now and alive” and “We are fighting for the soul of Nigeria.” “For ten years, girls have been robbed of their choices, their freedom and their dignity,” said Hauwa Abubakar of Bring Back Our Girls.

The head of the Kibaku ethnic group from Chibhok, Dauda Iliya, said people were “disappointed” by the failure of all governments in Borno state since 2014 and “by their inability or refusal to save all our girls after a decade”. The government “clearly has no interest” in getting the security problems in northeastern Nigeria and particularly in the Chibok region under control.

Boko Haram and the rival jihadist militia Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) continue to spread fear and terror in northern Nigeria. Since 2009, the violence has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced over two million. The militias and criminal gangs use kidnapping for ransom to raise money. According to the aid organization Save the Children, more than 1,680 students were abducted from Nigerian schools between 2014 and 2022.




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