How a failed state failed Chibok girls in America and beyond

Posted by News Express | 1 June 2021 | 1,282 times

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•International human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe at Masters’ graduation of Zion Umar in Los Ang




Lawyer wants Nigeria accountable for mass schoolgirl failures, says: “I did with $7,000 what FGN couldn’t do with $1 million.”


This season in America is one of joy and festivity as Nigerians - the most educated group in the USA - mark multiple graduations.

This year was special as four of the 12 victims of Boko Haram who I brought to the US graduated from various universities across America.

Two Chibok girls Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu who came to America on August 31, 2014 in the first batch; Ms Mutah, a third Chibok girl, who personally flew with me from Nigeria to US in September 2014 (2nd batch) and Ms Zion Umar, daughter of assassinated CAN Secretary for Borno State who came to the US in September 2015 (sixth batch) and has lived with me since.

Ms Mutah & Ms Zion Umar were the first of the 12 schoolgirls to attain  community college associate degrees before  now obtaining a Bachelors (B.Sc) and a Masters (MBA/M.Sc) respectively both in the medical sciences.

However the world must be made aware that five years after the Government of Nigeria took away five of the Chibok girls from the schools I had placed them in, in May and June 2016, they have failed to attain any academic achievement of note.

In particular Kauna Bitrus or Yagana who used multiple identities to secure a sponsorship slot from me meant for a different girl and who was used by the Nigerian government to defame me is nowhere to be seen in the honor roll of graduating Nigerian schoolgirls.

Another has dropped out of school while one attempted suicide after dropping in and out of school.

Two purportedly passed secondary school certificate level but it was rejected by the college they went too and made to take remedial classes to retake it.

The question now is why have the schoolgirls under Nigerian government control failed to perform like the non-government girls despite the humongous amounts allegedly squandered on their miseducation?

It is to be noted that in June 2016, the Buhari regime proudly boasted that it had rescued some of the girls from me but it only rescued them from success to failure.

Furthermore it is worthy of mention that in September 2016 the Buhari regime, through recently deceased Minister Aisha Alhassan, again falsely claimed that I didn’t put the girls in school and that they were trying to recover them from me and one white man. Ironically the girls they failed to recover from me and the “white man” have all graduated and obtained various US qualifications while the girls the government succeeded in taking away have faltered, fallen and floundered!

But the international export of failure of the Buhari regime doesn’t end in America.

Our joint investigation with community stakeholders reveals as follows:

  1. There are other Chibok girls studying in Ghana as well facing much struggles 
  2. Update on the girls in American University, Yola, Nigeria:      A. About a dozen Chibok schoolgirls dropped out and got married already; B. About half a dozen dropped out now staying idle; C. The remaining ones wrote private SSCE last November and all of them reportedly “failed, none got University entry credit.”; D. “Some of them threatened to leave school (AUN) if they are not allowed freedom to choose schools. They have been kept to themselves alone, they dont allow the girls interact with fellow students and that is also affecting their learning. Most of them are tired of the school and prefer different schools where they could be free to learn.”

For the record, unlike us, American University of Nigeria Yola received substantial funding from multifarious donors around the world in addition to annual budgetary allocations purportedly from both the Federal Government and Borno state government.

Visionlessness and not resources was the reason why the government’s interventions failed so signally compared to others.

  • I call on the International community to hold the government of Nigeria accountable for mismanaging and destroying the educational prospects of the Chibok girls despite millions of dollars in funding.
  • I call on the various UN agencies that collaborated with the Nigerian government to assist the Chibok girls including UNFPA to give a comprehensive programmatic and financial account of their project
  • I call on the UN Education Envoy Rt Hon Gordon Brown to provide a report on or audit Nigeria’s failed Safe Schools Initiative 
  • I call on AUN to provide a programmatic and financial report on the success or otherwise of its Chibok schoolgirls’ project
  • I call on the Victim Support Fund to provide a programmatic and financial report on its interventions relative to the Chibok schoolgirls 
  • I call on the Buhari regime and the Murtala Mohammed Foundation to render a financial and programmatic report on the Chibok girls’ project and their progress or lack thereof these five years
  • I call on Drew Hinshaw and Joe Parkinson and the Wall Street Journal to give an update on the educational progress of Kauna Bitrus (also known as Kauna Yaga) with whom they conspired to defame me and also to account for how much money they have made from their book “Bring Back Our Girls”.

It is noteworthy that with only $7000 attributed to me, I have achieved more positive outcomes and distinctions than the millions of dollars spent by the Federal Government of Nigeria , Borno State, American University Nigeria, Doug Wead & Murtala Mohammed Foundation.

Lies may run very fast but surely and steadily the truth will run past because lies are a sprint but truth is a marathon.

In conclusion, in addition to recent declarations by the Council of Foreign Relations  in America that Nigeria is a failed state, it is important for the world to know that Nigeria failed the Chibok schoolgirls before, during and after their abductions at home and abroad too.

I taught the Chibok schoolgirls Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins. Five wise ones had oil in their lamps and five foolish ones did not when opportunity came knocking.

If success is when preparation meets opportunity, then failure is when lack of preparation missed opportunity.

That Ms Zion Umar, an orphan who was herself shot by Boko Haram, could come to America one year after 10 Chibok girls, then surpass all of them to graduate with a Masters degree this May, while some of them remain at secondary school level, is nothing short of phenomenal especially without financial support.

Zion’s case is an illustration of preparation meeting and making use of opportunity.

But as we celebrate a harvest of successes, Nigeria must account for its harvest of failure!

Emmanuel Ogebe is of US NIGERIA LAW GROUP, Wahington. 

Source: News Express

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