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Bring them Back? Safe Return?


Two years ago in April the extremist group Boko Haram stormed a girls’ secondary school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria and seized 276 girls. At the time, this massive kidnapping created an enormous worldwide reaction. People “prayed” and “demanded ” that the girls be returned home. At the White House, Michelle Obama tweeted: “Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It is time to #Bring Back Our Girls.” Through social media, millions closely watched all developments.

Whom are they addressing these demands and prayers to? A remorseful Boko Haram suddenly contrite? An efficient and competent Nigerian Government? Or an attentively listening God eager to grant wishes?

Now two years later crowds are marching in the streets of Abuja again chanting and “demanding” the return of the girls. Do they think that the girls who most probably were promptly dispersed into neighboring countries will magically reappear looking just as they did when they were violently snatched by vicious intruders? Boko Haram has killed and kidnapped thousands in a campaign of violence as it (like ISIS ) seeks to establish a caliphate in Africa’s most populous nation. It coerces men to become fighters and girls to be slaves or even suicide bombers.
I recently saw a television interview with a Nigerian girl who had been abducted on another occasion (these raids are a regular occurrence) and who had somehow managed to escape. She had been 13 when she was snatched and was now 17 . She told of girls forcibly married or used as slaves by many of the warriors.

The girl had returned, but with a baby. Instead of being comforted and embraced by her family, she was brutally rejected. Her family wanted to kill the baby. He died later without their help. The girl had “dishonored” the family. She was now a pariah. Throughout the interview the girl played nervously with her shawl. She looked beautiful but her eyes had no expression. She told the interviewer she wanted to return and join Boko Haram and become a suicide bomber. As long as such pernicious attitudes continue to exist in the population, and when a perverted code of honor is invoked, there will never be a safe return for these very unlucky girls.


2 Comment authors
Lokpe AhmedZac Recent comment authors
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That attitude…the way people are not taken back, is maddening!

Columbia understood the exact opposite tactics were needed – they advertised into the jungle in various ways that mothers and fathers were waiting for the rebels and would welcome them back with open arms.

A different situation to be sure, most rebels left on their own accord, and were not abducted, but what incentive do the girls have to fight or to try to escape or to do anything but wait to die if this is what awaits them? No hope left in life and only 14 years old.

Lokpe Ahmed
Lokpe Ahmed

The government of the day needs to do some grand work to those parents who have their daughter’s abducted, or it will be a waist calling for their release,the girls would not be like they used to be,some will come home with children ,and would the parent except them like they are today?