To mark the 2000th day of the Chibok girls’ abduction by terrorist group Boko Haram , the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement has called on the Federal Government to step up efforts to free the remaining hostages.
They made the call when the BBOG members converged at the Falomo Roundabout, Ikoyi, Lagos in a sit out in honour of the girls and others, including Leah Sharibu, who is being held for her faith
They pledged to continue their advocacy till all the abductees are returned home safely to their families.
276 girls were kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, on the night of April 14, 2014, making yesterday 2000 days since they were separated from their families.
112 of the girls are still in captivity, while others, including Leah Sharibu from Dapchi in Yobe State, are also being held captive.
One-time Lagos State Commissioner for Finance Mr Wale Edun empathised with the girls’ families for the hurt they have borne for 2000 days.
He noted that the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu “are Nigeria’s daughters” and that the nation’s attention and action concerning them should not be less.
“2000 days is so many years. We are here because this is our duty as citizens. This is a difficult time to demand things from government, but we are not going away until all our #ChibokGirls are back.
“I commend us all for not being tired or discouraged,” Edun said.
Other members of the group at the event, including a former president of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Ayo Obe, pledged the movement’s commitment to the cause.
In a live tweet during the sit out, Obe said: “People, fellow citizens, are here to mark #2000Days since our #ChibokGirls were taken. #BringBackOurGirls continues to stand in the gap.”
The BBOG movement, in a statement signed by Florence Ozor, Gapani Yanga, and Nifemi Onifade, questioned the Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against Boko Haram and kidnappings.
It urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to live up to their responsibility of protecting life and property.
The statement reads in part: “Today, Saturday, October 5th 2019 marks 2,000 days since 276 schoolgirls were abducted from Government Girls’ Secondary School Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria by terrorists on the night of April 14, 2014. 57 girls escaped within days of the abduction while 219 remained in captivity.
“Five years on, an additional 107 girls have returned: 4 of them as a result of Nigerian military interventions, 21 released in October 2016 after negotiations with their captors and a further 82 set freed by the terrorist group in May 2017.
“2,000 days later, 112 of the #ChibokGirls abducted during an evil attack on humanity are yet to return.
“Over the past 2,000 days, our #ChibokGirls have been denied their fundamental rights to freedom, for simply seeking an education on the path of growth and fulfillment they have been forced to suffer unimaginable horrors by enemies of humanity.
“Their families and communities have also borne severe hardships within a war that continues to destroy lives and impede human progress. This nightmare continues to be the shame of a nation and an open sore of the world that threatens to become ingrained within the darkest parts of our collective history.”
The group noted that other abductions have since occurred, including “the abduction of 6 students and 2 staff members of Engravers College in Kaduna on the 3rd of October 2019.
“To this end, the students and staff of Engravers College join a number of citizens who remain missing – including Leah Sharibu, Alice Ngaddah, Grace Taku and her colleagues as well as many others. How can we have continued this way?
“Through this all, we stand, keep the faith and hold out the light for our #ChibokGirls and all others in captivity. Today and until they return, we demand #BringBackOurGirls”
Meanwhile at the Unity fountain Abuja, where the group also gathered to mark the significant count, some mothers of the Chibok girls were caught on camera crying.