- April 14, 2014, was the cold day 276 girls were kidnapped from a secondary school in Chibok community, Borno state
- Despite promises by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rescue to the girls, only 21 of them have been saved. 57 escaped while 195 girls remain missing
- Three years passed and mothers of the missing girls are still heavily shaken
On the night of April 14, 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped in a girls secondary school in Chibok community, Borno state. Since that day, 57 escaped, 21 rescued and a further 195 are still in captivity.
The Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) held a lecture on April 14, to mark three years of the girls kidnapping. During their lecture, Mrs. Rebecca Samuel, the mother of missing student Sarah Samuel broke down in tears during her speech and cried out:
"We pray everyday that God brings our daughters back. We are calling on the world international committee and most especially the Nigerian government. Please rescue our daughters. Everyday we ask, are they feeling okay? How do they sleep? What do they wear? It is hard for us."
"I would rather my daughter was dead and I bury her than for her to be in the wilderness for three years. Government of Nigeria, please help us. International committee, please help us. We are poor, please help us."
NAIJ.com spoke to Mrs. Esther Yakubu, another mother who is yet to set eyes on her daughter for three years.
It's been 3 years since Chibok girls have been abducted and you are one of the mothers, what do you have to say?
It is how God has designed it, He allowed everything that happened and only Him knows the reason and when He deems it fit, they will be released.
What do you have to say about govt' effort, are they doing enough?
They are trying but they should improve in their effort. In 6 months 21 girls were released. We were promised that in 2 months, 93 girls will be released but up till now, except one that was found later. My plea is that government should intensify effort so the rest can come back, 3 years is no joke. They have not been in school, we don't know their plight they are together with armed men. It is only God that knows what is happening. Since 3 years this has happened, I had never been out. I never believed I could come out today.
How would you compare this govt in terms of getting the girls released?
This government is better since we were able to see 21 girls. During the past government, not even one was released.
BBOG Chairperson, Aisha Yesufu, also spoke to NAIJ.com saying the movement is also to secure a better Nigeria.
Do you feel these talks and social media involvement have helped in any way?
"Absolutely it has helped. If not for the fact that there was still a campaign called bring back our girls movement, I myself wouldn't even remember anything that happened in Chibok. We need to understand that all the atrocities that were happening in the North East were forgotten and termed as fringes. It was the Bring Back Our Girls movement that brought forth the atrocities."
"We have seen that girls are still being rescued, recently we were told that 500 citizens of Nigeria have been rescued. This is because of the fact that there are people that have been demanding and continuously reminding the government that the promises that they made, they ensure that they deliver."
"As a movement, we do not only demand, we offer solutions, we have done citizens solution to end terrorism which we handed over to the government. We have done verification system documents which goes on to show how best to rehabilitate abductees who are returned and integrate them back into society."
"We have also done the options note on the north-east which is to rebuild the north-east. Like we said, the fight for Chibok girls is the fight for the soul of Nigeria. We would not want our Chibok girls to come back to the same Nigeria that had led to their abduction or for them to meet it the same way. So we all need to fight for this country."
"People need to understand that when we demand for Chibok girls, we are not doing them a favour, we are only doing what is right. The rescue of the Chibok girls is not a privilege, it's their right as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Enough of the excuses and people saying it did not happen in this administration. We have to understand that Nigerian government is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and even when the head of state changes, the work that they should do. The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and properties and they must do that with Chibok girls. The next thing they need to do is to rescue them and bring them back alive!"
Watch the video below of NAIJ.com at the BBOG 3 years solidarity march.