By Anthony Olusola
On the night of 14th into 15th April 2014, 276 female students, mostly Christians aged 16 to 18, were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, from the Government Girls Secondary School, in the town of Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria.
About four years after, On February 19, 2018, at 5:30 pm, 110 schoolgirls aged 11–19 years old were also kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi. Yobe, northeast part of Nigeria
Ironically, Dapchi lies approximately 275 km (170 miles) northwest of Chibok, where over 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014
As of today, some 98 of the Chibok Girls are still in captivity. Of the original 276 girls, some escaped on their own, some were rescued by the Armed Forces, many returned pregnant, many came back with babies, and some died in their captors’ hands.
Of the 110 school girls kidnapped at the Government Technical College, all were released except Leah Sharibu who reportedly refused to deny her faith as a condition to gain her freedom. Five of the girls were reported to have died in the course of being abducted.
Efforts were made and there was a general outcry for the release of these girls in the first few years after their abduction. Stephen Davis, a former Anglican priest according to Wikipedia reportedly commented that it was not difficult to locate the five or six main Boko Haram camps and that he was able to find them on Google Earth.
One then keeps wondering why it has been difficult for the Nigerian government to get these girls out of the den of Boko Haram. But what is more painful is that despite these horrendous episodes, we have all continued with our lives as if nothing like that ever happened. We’ve left those girls to whatever their families can negotiate with the devils holding them. What a colossal shame!
How quickly our leaders (political and spiritual) forget NIGERIANS in trouble is legendary, except when it’s them or their families that are involved.
I would have expected CAN and PFN to keep talking about this matter daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly until the Nigerian Government (which is particularly insensitive, uncaring, and irresponsible) is shamed to action. Isn’t that what JESUS taught us about the unjust judge/ruler in Luke 18:1-8?
But, no, that’s not the case here! We’ve all gone to bed! Our own children, brothers and sisters, and parishioners are safely at home, so who cares about Chibok girls? Let them, and their families, sort out themselves o jare! Isn’t that our collective mentality?! What a national shame! But then, do we even know what shame is in this country? If we did, I wouldn’t need to be writing this now! Would I?
I’m once again calling on the leadership of Nigeria, and especially the CAN and PFN leadership, to ARISE and get the remaining 98 girls. We must also not forget that Leah Sharibu is still in the custody of these evil men. Will President Buhari leave office without getting her and several other girls out of the camp of Boko Haram? It’s indeed a national shame that we can carry on as if nothing ever happened.
I’m ashamed, appalled, and angry. If you’re not, you probably don’t know what shame is. It’s alright, you’re a typical Nigerian, that the government can oppress, suppress, intimidate, harass, rob, tax unjustly, etc, without zero consequences, because you’re too shameless and too cowered to protest, resist or fight back. Kwontinue!
I wrote this piece on the anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls and distributed it on some social media platform. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses that trailed the piece.
GOD seems to have pricked all our hearts/conscience concerning the girls in captivity. I was at Adamasingba stadium, Ibadan, when I wrote the piece. I’d gone, alongside the outreach team, to evangelize and invite the sportsmen and women there to our forthcoming 30th anniversary in The Stone Church.
But, I was burdened to put pen that piece, and it was as I wrote that it dawned on me that it was exactly nine (9) years since it happened. LORD, have mercy! We’ve collectively forgotten and abandoned those girls to their fate. Too bad!
The following suggestions, divinely inspired, I believe, came from a reader. I think we all should align with them.
So help us, GOD!
“Good write up sir…thanks.
But what action is to be taken upon such revelations?
If it dies here..then it’s a waste!
I recall when the heavens were almost knocked down when our brethren from Peace House were abducted! All the Body of CHRIST prayed and fasted. They were released because it had to do with one of us! I dare ask..”Are Leah Sharibu and others not one of us?”
1. Let’s take it to each family altar, morning and night. Let’s use it to cry out to God.
2. Let those at the helm of affairs take it up at Church levels, and reawaken ourselves that some are still languishing in the enemy’s camp.
3. Let the Prayer Band of each Church see it as ‘Our sisters or brothers’ in captivity.
4. Let those called into the ministry of intercession awaken their hearts to this clarion call.
5. As individuals, let’s call on GOD, day and night, as long as we live, till they all be rescued.
6. Let PFN and CAN make it mandatory that each congregational prayer is not complete until we’ve prayed for their safe return, and till they are released.
7. Let’s ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the way out till they are released. I’m sure that many would find their way out as soon as we start praying.
On this note…….I rest my case.
Please, let’s raise a ceaseless PRAYER ALTAR for these girls, just like we did for the Peace House brethren. Let’s pray them out of captivity into the waiting arms of their parents, siblings, and friends.JESUS expects nothing less from us.Pleaseeeeeeeeeee!
Thank you for this sir.