-19 parents said to have died so far
-Buhari vows to rescue remaining girls
The Bring Back OurGirls movement, which has been at the forefront of the pressure on the federal government to ensure the release of the abducted Chibok school girls, has resolved to embark on daily march to the State House in Abuja, for the next seven days. The group has equally appealed to all clergy and religious faithful in the country to kindly take out special sessions in their respective places of worship on Sunday 8 January (yesterday), on Friday January 13, and in the course of the week to intercede on behalf of the abducted girls and their understandably distraught families.
Yesterday marked 1,000 days that the school girls were abducted by the Boko Haram militant group in Chibok Borno state. Of the 219 who were missing, 24 have returned leaving 195 in captivity in the hands of terrorists till now. The group, in a statement yesterday by its spokesperson, Sesugh Akume, confirmed that the marches to the State House will take place between 8th and 14th of this month. The BringBackOurGirls group further disclosed that 19 out of the parents of the abducted school girls have died between the period the girls were abducted and now.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to ensure that the remaining Chibok girls still in the hands of their abductors are rescued as soon as possible. The President stated this on Sunday as the world commemorates the 1000th day of one of the world’s most mysterious case of abduction that has not only remained a puzzle but also a mystery. In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, to commemorate the day, said “President Muhammadu Buhari has recommitted the Federal Government to securing the release of the youngsters kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.”
“We are grateful to God that on this landmark day, we are not completely in the depths of despair, but buoyed with hope that our daughters will yet rejoin their families and loved ones. Three of them have been recovered by our diligent military, while the freedom of 21 others was secured through engagement with their captors. We are hopeful that many more will still return as soon as practicable,” President Buhari said.
According to Bring Back Our Girls group’s statement, “from January 8 – 14, our movement shall be carrying out daily marches to the State House to drive home these points.” The statement added, “as we all may be aware, barring any miraculous intervention by which our Chibok Girls would return today and tomorrow, 8 January 2017 (Saturday and Sunday), will be Day 1000 since school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok were abducted on 14 April 2014.
“Of the 219 who were missing, 24 have returned leaving 195 of our precious daughters in captivity in the hands of terrorists all this while for precisely 999 days today.” The group therefore asked all clergy and religious faithful to kindly take out special sessions in their respective places of worship this Sunday 8 January (Day 1000) and Friday 13 January, and in the course of the week to intercede on behalf of the girls and their understandably distraught families.
They also noted that while they have held and continue to hold government responsible to fulfill its duty of ensuring the welfare and security of citizens, they have never de-emphasised the importance of the need for the Almighty’s Divine Hand in this matter. Thank God for the 24 Chibok girls who have returned. Pray for their speedy and complete recovery.
Pray that the remaining 195 return quickly as 1,000 days in the hands of terrorists is far too long. Pray for their families and friends, bearing in mind that 19 parents have died since this tragedy commenced — most due to trauma and sheer heartbreak over the plight of their daughters. Ask God to strengthen the remaining parents as well as the entire Chibok community.
Also, thank God for the thousands who have returned even though they were not reported as missing. The insurgency has separated numerous families. Please pray that every missing person is found and returned to their families. The Almighty is a God of reconciliation. The IDP issue in Nigeria is currently one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
Their condition can be improved. Pray that peace and normalcy can be restored, and that they are able to return home to begin a normal life once again. Pray for the wisdom that is necessary for peace to reign. Our soldiers are fighting day and night and therefore need divine protection.
Their welfare needs to be improved. Pray for their safety and welfare, and for all the supplies they need to be provided. Some have unjustly been sentenced to prison for failing to fight when weapons were not provided for them. Pray that the God who judges fairly will intervene in the matter. Pray for their families, too.
Many of our citizens have lost sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, etc. Pray that the widows and orphans of soldiers killed in combat are catered for. Corruption and bad governance bedevil our society. Pray that this cancer be removed from the judiciary, the legislature, the executive, military, police, banks, marketplaces, and every sector and crevice of our society.
Education is under threat in Nigeria. Our children are no longer safe in their schools. The terrorists attacked schools killed students and burnt schools. Our Chibok girls were themselves abducted in their school.
In the past year, many children have been kidnapped in their school. Pray against this endangerment of education. Education must continue. All learners must feel safe and comfortable in school. The most unsafe and vulnerable person in our society is the girl child. They are open to all forms of abuse, without consequences. Pray that this trend will stop.
Pray for the release of Habiba Ishiaku who, at the age of 14 years, was abducted, forcefully ‘married’ and converted to another religion in August 2015 without her parents’ knowledge by the Emir of Katsina and the Katsina Emirate Council, and remains in captivity till date. The government is aware but has not taken any action to return Habiba to her family.
God hates oppression of the poor, weak, and vulnerable. Please pray for Habiba. Pray for the hundreds of others we do not know about who suffer rape and other forms of violence and abuse.
There has been too much bloodshed in our land; from Zaria to Enugu, from Agatu to Plateau, from Zamfara to Onitsha, to Niger, and presently Southern Kaduna. As recently as yesterday, Tsonje was attacked with scores killed and property destroyed, despite the reported deployment of security forces. Most of these are unreported in the media.
This week alone, such killings occurred in three local governments in Benue, namely: Okpokwu, Kwande, and Buruku. Innocent people are killed and their property destroyed. Pray that this wickedness is stopped, offenders are brought to book, the bereaved are consoled, and that there will be recompense for all that has been lost – especially, souls. The movement pointed out that it has always maintained that the Chibok girls are symbolic of all that is wrong in the society.
It added, “We see their return as the mark of the beginning of a new era. From 8 – 14 January our movement shall be carrying out daily marches to the State House to drive home these points. We urge you to kindly join us. If unable to, we ask that you kindly pray about the issues raised. Our movement earnestly desires your prayers.”