IN THE BEGINNING:
On 14 April 2014, Boko Haram militants in Northern Nigeria attacked a government secondary boarding school in Chibok, Borno state, where girls from surrounding areas had gone to take exams. But Chibok had not been attacked before, so it was felt safe to use the school for the important final year exams. Many of the pupils were Christians. The gunmen arrived in the town late at night in a blaze of gunfire and headed for the school where they raided the dormitories and loaded 276 girls on to lorries. Some managed to escape within hours of their kidnapping, mostly by jumping off the lorries and running off into the bushes. In total 219 girls were taken away.
Dailies still carry boxes declaring the number of days it has been since the abductions. Women in Borno carry on supporting women and girls who have managed to escape – and push for human rights, justice and an end to the conflict. Bring Back Our Girls movement continues to hold protests. Rallying people all around the world, they have called for a week of action in solidarity. A man is cycling across west Africa, from Abidjan to Lagos, to raise awareness. The anniversary will see the Empire State building lit up in purple and red. There will be a Global School Girl March, taking place from Tasmania in Australia to Stavanger in Norway, from Santiago in Chile to London in the UK – and, of course, in cities across Nigeria. As all this events happen across the world, we can only keep asking President Buhari, his kitchen cabinet and even past president, Goodluck Jonathan about the whereabout of our girls and the unsafe politics that is being played. But for now, its still high hopes.