Earlier this week, Boko Haram Islamists ascended onto a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria and abducted over 100 schoolgirls. By Wednesday, only eight of the 129 abducted school girls were still missing, according to the Nigerian military. It’s being reported that they were taken to a forest near the Cameroonian border. The Nigerian Defense Ministry has been exposed for lying to the media about 100 of those 129 girls being freed and according to parents of the missing girls, they are most certainly not.
“We have been in grief for the past four days over the kidnap of our daughters and hoping the military would rescue them, but to our greatest shock and disbelief the same military has resorted to blatant propaganda, claiming all but eight of our girls have been freed,” said Lawan Zanna, father of one of the students. “This is a blatant lie. For the military, who is supposed to find and rescue our children, to be spreading such lies shows that they have no intention of rescuing our girls.”
It’s being reported that the Nigerian Defense Ministry has retracted their statement of rescue, claiming “a report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, director of defense information.
The abductions are the latest in a series of attacks being blamed on Boko Haram. On Monday, 71 people were killed in two explosions at a bus station in the capital Abuja. Gunmen burned homes and businesses in the town as they fled with the girls, witnesses said. According to CNN, many distressed parents waited outside the burned home of the Chibok district administrator, while anxiously waiting on the news about their daughters.
“They forced us into trucks, buses and vans, some of which were carrying foodstuffs and petrol. They left with us in a convoy into the bush,” said a student among the girls who escaped and who declined to be named for security reasons. “A group of motorcyclists flanked the convoy to ensure none of us escaped.” As luck would have it, there was a series of vehicle breakdowns that forced the kidnappers to move the girls from one van to the other and “some of us jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the bush. We later found our way back to Chibok,” she said, referring to the northeastern town where her school is located.
“We are calling on the government to do everything possible to track these people and save your daughters from them. They should not allow our daughters’ dreams to be shattered by these murderers,” said the mother of one abducted girl.
A statement from the office of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said he ordered security forces “to deploy maximum efforts” in rescuing the girls and welcomed reports of some rescues.
“President Jonathan deeply regrets the pain, sorrow and anguish brought upon many Nigerian families in recent days as a consequence of recurring security challenges which the nation is contending with,” the statement said.
The UN released the following statement earlier today:
We are extremely concerned by the recent abduction of some 100, 12 to 17-year-old girls who were taken from their school hostel in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria on the night of 14th April. Attacks against the liberty of children and the targeting of schools are prohibited under international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances.We urge those who are responsible for their abduction to release them unharmed, and return them safely to their families, where they rightfully belong.Schools are and must remain places of safety and security, where children can learn and grow in peace. Girls and young women must be allowed to go to school without fear of violence and unjust treatment so that they can play their rightful role as equal citizens of the world. Women and girls have the right to live free from intimidation, persecution and all other forms of discrimination.We stand with the Nigerian people, especially the parents and families of the abducted girls.