One year ago today, the world was shocked by the brutality of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, after they kidnapped 252 girls from the town of Chibok in Northern Nigeria. One year later, 232 of the girls are still missing.
At 10pm on April 14, Boko Haram attacked the Government Secondary School of Chibok. Many girls from the community were staying at the school with exams scheduled for the morning. Seven vehicles, loaded with armed men, entered the school compound. Some of the men set fire to buildings while others overpowered the security guards, stormed the dormitories, and forced 275 students into the vehicles at gunpoint. The attackers then sped away, disappearing into the Sambisa Forest.
Early news reports stated 100 girls had been kidnapped, then later 200, over the next few days the tally continued to grow until the grim figure was complete with 252 confirmed missing. About 20 eventually escaped, but the remaining 232 haven’t been heard from since, according to Open Doors sources. Most of the girls were Christian and some were Muslim.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, releasing a video in which the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, stated, “I have kidnapped the girls. I will sell them on the market in the name of Allah.”
It was the single largest kidnapping carried out by the group, but was only part of a larger kidnapping campaign. Indeed, Human Rights Watch said “The relative ease with which Boko Haram carried out the Chibok abductions seems to have emboldened it to step up abductions elsewhere.”
The government of President Goodluck Jonathan was slow to respond. Repeated assurances that the girls would be freed evaporated. A global social media storm blew up around the cry of #bringbackourgirls, involving everyone from Pakistani female education activist, Malala Yousafzai, to America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Growing frustrations with the response of President Goodluck resulted in many voting against him at the recent election and consequently his opponent Muhammadu Buhari was elected. Now, multinational forces from neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger have assisted with the fight against Boko Haram. As territory is taken back from the group, a trail of devastation is left in its wake. The bodies of 550 women have been uncovered recently in Bama, where retreating Boko Haram soldiers slaughtered locals before the Nigerian military arrived.
Since the kidnapping in Chibok, eleven parents of the missing girls have died due to stress and trauma. As Boko Haram continue to plague those living in Northern Nigeria, Open Doors asks all supporters to continue lifting up this situation in prayer.
Pray for the families who have lost their children to kidnappings and have had family members killed. Pray for the communities who now have to rebuild after the devastation of war. Pray also for the soldiers of Boko Haram to encounter Jesus and lay down their weapons.
Open Doors sources have been able to confirm the following names of many of the girls taken:
|Deborah Abge Chrstian||Awa Abge||Asabe Manu||Hauwa Yirma||Mwa Malam pogu||Patiant Dzakwa|
|Saraya Mal. Stover||Mary Dauda||Gloria Mainta||Hanatu Ishaku||Gloria Dama||Tabitha Pogu|
|Maifa Dama||Ruth kollo||Esther Usman||Awa James||Anthonia Yahonna||Kume Mutah|
|Aisha Ezekial||Nguba Buba||Kwanta Simon||Kummai Aboku||Esther Markus||Hana Stephen|
|Rifkatu Amos||Rebecca Mallum||Blessing Abana||Ladi Wadai||Tabitha Hyelampa||Ruth Ngladar|
|Safiya Abdu||Na’omi Yahonna||Solomi Titus||Rhoda John||Rebecca Kabu||Christy Yahi|
|Rebecca Luka||Laraba John||Saratu Markus||Mary Usman||Debora Yahonna||Naomi Zakaria|
|Hanatu Musa||Hauwa Tella||Juliana Yakubu||Suzana Yakubu||Saraya Paul||Jummai Paul|
|Mary Sule||Jummai John||Yanke Shittima||Muli Waligam||Fatima Tabji||Eli Joseph|
|Saratu Emmanuel||Deborah Peter||Rahila Bitrus||Luggwa Sanda||Kauna Lalai||Lydia Emmar|
|Laraba Maman||Hauwa Isuwa||Confort Habila||Hauwa Abdu||Hauwa Balti.||Yana Joshua|
|Laraba Paul||Saraya Amos||Glory Yaga||Na’omi Bitrus||Godiya Bitrus||Awa Bitrus|
|Na’omi Luka||Maryamu Lawan||Tabitha Silas||Mary Yahona||Ladi Joel||Rejoice Sanki|
|Luggwa Samuel||Comfort Amos||Saraya Samuel||Sicker Abdul||Talata Daniel||Rejoice Musa|
|Deborah Abari||Salomi Pogu||Mary Amor||Ruth Joshua||Esther John||Esther Ayuba|
|Maryamu Yakubu||Zara Ishaku||Maryamu Wavi||Lydia Habila||Laraba Yahonna||Na’omi Bitrus|
|Rahila Yahanna||Ruth Lawan||Ladi Paul||Mary Paul||Esther Joshua||Helen Musa|
|Margret Watsai||Deborah Jafaru||Filo Dauda||Febi Haruna||Ruth Ishaku||Racheal Nkeki|
|Rifkatu Soloman||Mairama yahaya||Saratu Dauda||Jinkai Yama||Margret Shettima||Yana yidau|
|Grace Paul||Amina Ali||Palmata Musa||Awagana Musa||Pindar Nuhu||Yana Pogu|
|Saraya Musa||Hauwa Joseph||Hauwa kwakwi||Hauwa Musa||Maryamu Musa||Maimuna Usman|
|Rebeca Joseph||Liyatu Habitu||Rifkatu Yakubu||Naomi Philimon||Deborah Abbas||Ladi Ibrahim|
|Asabe Ali||Maryamu Bulama||Ruth Amos||Mary Ali||Abigail Bukar||Deborah Amos|
|Saraya Yanga||Kauna Luka||Christiana Bitrus||Yana Bukar||Hauwa peter||Hadiza Yakubu|
|Lydia Simon||Ruth Bitrus||Mary Yakubu||Lugwa Mutah||Muwa Daniel||Hanatu Nuhu|
|Monica Enoch||Margret Yama||Docas yakubu||Rhoda peter||Rifkatu Galang||Saratu Ayuba|
|Naomi Adamu||Hauwa Ishaya||Rahap Ibrahim||Deborah Soloman||Hauwa Mutah||Hauwa Takai|
|Aishatu Musa||Aishatu Grema||Hauwa Nkeki||Hamsatu Abubakar||Mairama Abubakar||Hauwa Wule|
|Ihyi Abdu||Hasana Adamu||Rakiya Kwamtah||Halima Gamba||Aisha Lawan||Kabu Malla|
|Yayi Abana||Falta Lawan||Kwadugu Manu|