Posted by News Express | 21 June 2014 | 4,466 times
These are the names and faces of some of the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were abducted from their school dormitories eight weeks ago.
The girls were taken away by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday night, April 14, from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, North-East Nigeria. A fact-finding committee set up on may 6 by President Goodluck Jonathan and which submitted its report to yesterday disclosed that 219 of the girls are still being kept by the terrorists.
Each girl has a story, a future they had planned, a family anxiously waiting for them at home.
These pictures were assembled by the leader of the community council in Chibok, the town from which the girls were abducted while in their school hostel.
Slowly and with tears in his eyes, he flicked through a file in which he had recorded the names and photographs of the girls.
Not even the police and Army have managed to compile such detail he has amassed from talking to the parents of the kidnapped teenagers.
The file has 185 pages — one for every girl. Each page has a photograph, and beside each passport-sized picture some stark facts — the girl’s name, her school grade and the date of abduction. For the other 19 abducted girls, he has yet to locate photographs. He will.
The community leader and the girls’ families have given permission for their names and photographs to be put into the public domain so the world is reminded of the missing girls. He is being helped to publicise this by Arise TV chief Nduka Obaigbena.
There is also a file on the 53 girls who escaped by running for their lives from their Boko Haram kidnappers.
For a teenage girl, eight weeks in captivity could have life-time consequences — and for their families it is torture. The idea that your daughter should go to school one day and never return is every parent’s nightmare. Not to know whether they have been molested, trafficked or are even alive is a living hell.
These girls were abducted for the sole reason that their captors believe that girls have no right to an education.
Yet this civil rights struggle is being fought out, brutally and — for most of the time — shamefully unobserved.
On one side, terrorists, murderers, rapists and cowards, hell-bent on acts of depravity. On the other, defiant, relentless, brave-beyond-comprehension young girl-heroes and boy-heroes desperately fighting for a future but, sadly, in a world largely oblivious to their plight.
During the past eight weeks, the world’s attention has been drawn to India, where a gang raped and then hanged two girls seen as property to be passed around 28 Indian youths.
There has also been public outrage at the death sentence over a young Sudanese mother simply because a woman is considered to have no right to her own religion.
The world should similarly refocus attention on the plight of the abducted Chibok girls and help to rescue them without further delay.
•Text adapted from a MailOnline report; Pictures: ThisDay/Arise News, Sky Channel 519.
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