The Federal Government of Nigeria said it’s doing everything possible to secure the release of over 200 Chibok girls and put an end to the horrible saga of their abduction.
As many as 200 girls were abducted from their boarding school in northeastern Nigeria by heavily armed Boko Haram militants who arrived in trucks, vans, and buses. Dozens of gunmen stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, about 130 km (81 miles) west of Maiduguri, on April 16, 2014 at night as the students slept in their dormitories. The militants engaged the soldiers guarding the school in a lengthy gun battle and then herded the girls onto vehicles, as reported by CNN.
Dozens of the girls managed to flee to safety in the initial mêlée, but more than 200 are still missing. The girls abduction led to the global protests demanding the immediate release of the Chibok girls with hash tag #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), campaign across the country and abroad.
The campaign got the support of influential women like Malala Yousafzai of Afghanistan, Ms. Michelle Obama, and other women groups worldwide.
Amina Ali Nkeki is the first of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram to be freed after two years in captivity, Nigerian military officials said on May 18, 2016 a day after Nkeki was found.
On August 15, 2016 Boko Haram militants released a new video published on social media, with a masked man standing behind dozens of girls believed to be the Chibok girls to call on Nigerian authorities to release their detained members in exchange for the release of the girls.
The Boko Haram commander in the video claimed that some of the girls died as a result of air strikes by the military, a claim strongly denied by Nigeria’s military authorities.
Failure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration to locate the other girls have worried the girls’ parents and civil society groups who are pressurizing the government to find the missing girls since they were kidnapped in 2014. Reacting to the latest video, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement said the government is in touch with those purportedly behind the video.
”We are on top of the situation. But we are being extremely careful because the situation has been compounded by the split in the leadership of Boko Haram. We are also being guided by the need to ensure the safety of the girls,” he said. Mohammed expressed the hope that the latest development will signal the beginning of the end of the nightmare to which the girls, their families, and indeed all Nigerians have been subjected to since the unfortunate abduction two years ago.
However, the BBOG campaigners with their base in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, have threatened to march towards the Presidential villa by Monday of next week to press their demand for the government to do more in freeing these girls from their abductors.