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Chibok Girls 2 years after, can we still Bring Back Our Girls?

The missing children were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in the town by Boko Haram insurgents and most of them remain in captivity.

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Today, April 14, 2016, makes it 2 years since over 200 girls were abducted from Chibok, Borno State.

The missing children were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in the town by Boko Haram insurgents and most of them remain in captivity.

The abduction gave rise to the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement which saw world leaders joining calls for the girls’ rescue.

However, despite mass outrage and continuous advocacy by the BBOG group, the girls have still not been reunited with their families.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan was severely criticized for failing to act swiftly when the girls were first taken.

Jonathan’s administration first of all denied the abduction then described it as a political attempt to rubbish the president.

According to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, the president didn’t contact him about the incident until 19 days after the girls were taken.

“In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency,” Shettima said while receiving former president, Olusegun Obasanjo at the Government House in Maiduguri.

Obasanjo had earlier criticized Jonathan for failing to act immediately the girls were kidnapped.

“It is unfortunate. What I have said to Jonathan before and what I have said also in my letter - and I have said it several times - is that, once active and concrete action was not taken within 48 hours, a period of 72 hours was already too late,” he said during an interview with Rosie Collyer of Radio France Internationale (RFI) in 2014.

“We will never be able to get those girls again. And the story of those girls will go on for the next 30 years. Some of them will come out when they are adults or they will be sent back when they are pregnant by those who have captured them. If anyone is thinking of being able to get those girls released intact, he must be day dreaming,” he added.

Obasanjo also made a similar comment on Friday, February 5, 2016, saying that anyone promising to rescue the Chibok girls is telling lies.

The Muhammadu Buhari administration has promised to rescue the girls but adds that a specific time frame cannot be given.

“At every security council meeting that I have attended, the President has always been concerned about Chibok girls. He thinks of how this can be done quickly. But it’s a very delicate issue and we cannot say we can deal with it next week. Every rescue attempt must take the safety of the girls into consideration,” Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said at a recent forum on vulnerable people in Nigeria.

“From the security reports we get, we will be able to bring back the girls but we must exercise some caution and patience and not sound as if it can be done but it’s not being done,” he added.

It had earlier also been revealed that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom located some of the missing girls after the abduction but failed to rescue them.

The disclosure was made by former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock while speaking to The Sunday Times.

“A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa Forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment,” Pocock said.

“A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.

“You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he added.

It’s been two years and it seems like almost nothing has been done to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

The question now remains: Can we still Bring Back Our Girls?

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Watch Buhari speak on Chibok girls below:

Can Chibok girls still be rescued?»

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