It’s day 1,000.
On 14 April, 2014, heavily-armed Boko Haram terrorists attacked Government Girls’ Secondary School in a Borno town called Chibok. The insurgents made away with 276 female students from the boarding school and next time anyone heard of the teenage girls, they were paraded by the terrorists in an unknown location. This was after some of the girls had jumped off the lorries transporting them and had escaped into nearby bushes.
Days ran into weeks and the news of this historical abduction was met by manifold reactions. Blatant disbelief by the then administration of President Goodluck Jonathan; agony and uncontrollable tears by the parents of the kidnapped girls; social media outrage by very concerned Nigerians; a thousand and one questions by Doubting Thomases and more importantly, the untiring #BringBackOurGirls campaign spearheaded by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Bukky Shonibare and a few others.
October 2016 marked a major milestone for the #BBOG Campaign, the President Buhari administration and some of the families of the girls. 21 girls were released by the terrorists through negotiations reportedly brokered by the Swiss government, although details of the negotiation is still shrouded in secrecy by the Federal Government.
Few days into 2017, another girl was rescued by Nigerian troops, with her six-month-old baby. This piece of news serves as a pointer to the lifestyle the girls have been forced to lead while in the clutches of these evil men.
As we mark the 1,000th day of their abduction, we bring you these photos to better explain the journey from day 1 up until now.
- First appearance of the girls after the kidnapping, as released by the terrorist sect.
2. The abduction of 279 girls sparked a global outcry. United States First Lady, Michelle Obama lending her voice to the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in the early months.
3. Dr. Oby Ezekwesili leads a march of women and mothers in April 2014. This was one of the many protests held in various parts of the country to draw government’s attention to the situation.
4. A parent weeps as she joins others to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.
5. BBOG frontline campaigner, Bukky Shonibare remained steadfast in her daily reminder.
6. First Lady, Aisha Buhari met with some of the mothers and made a N55m donation.
7. The Bring Back Our Girls campaign group meets with President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo and other top government officials at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
8. In May 2016, rescued Chibok girl, Amina Ali Nkeki met with President Buhari. He promised that the government will take responsibility for her education and full rehabilitation.
9. The BBOG coalition holds a silent protest in Abuja in August 2016. They are surrounded by armed policemen.
10. 21 Chibok schoolgirls return to the loving arms of their parents in October 2016. It was a tearful but joyful reunion.
11. The tears flowed freely at the reunion service held for the 21 girls.
12. The priceless expression on the faces of the parents as they embraced their daughters. They had waited over two years for this moment.
13. Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and wife, Dolapo met with the 21 girls. Mrs Osinbajo embraces one of the girls in this photo.
14. On 5 January 2017, another Chibok girl, Rakiya Abubakar was found by the Nigerian Army.
15. Bukky Shonibare on day 999.