Hopes of the federal government securing the release of the Chibok Secondary School girls abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram sect Monday and reuniting them with their loved ones has crashed again.
No reason has been given for the failure of the deal between the federal government and the insurgents, despite the assurance by the sect’s spokesperson that the girls would be freed on Monday.
On Friday, October 17, hopes were raised that the 219 remaining girls might soon be released after the Nigerian army announced a truce between Boko Haram and government forces.
The deal was announced by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh.
Badeh said, “A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram).”
It will also be recalled that on Friday, October 24, the self acclaimed secretary General of the sect, Mallam Danladi Ahmadu, said that the kidnapped Chibok girls would be released unfailinly on Monday, 27 October.
Politicians, celebrities, musicians and concerned citizens around the world have taken part in the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, advocating for the return of about 300 girls who were abducted from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria last month.
And while it’s clear the campaign won’t erase the systemic issues in the country, the hashtag has undisputedly shed light on the situation, keeping Boko Haram — the Islamist militant group behind the kidnappings — and the missing girls firmly in the spotlight.
To date, the hashtag, which started tending in Nigeria about two weeks ago, has been retweeted more than a million times.
Here are a few notable individuals who have lent their voices to the campaign.
Speaking out for the first time on the horrific kidnapping, President Obama on Tuesday called the abduction of the Nigerian school girls “heartbreaking” and “outrageous.”
It’s been 22 days since the 276 girls were taken from their school by extremist militants from the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, which translates to “western education is sinful.” The group has since threatened to sell the girls into slavery.
The girls’ plight has attracted international condemnation and spurred a global call to action.
“You’ve got one of the worst regional or local terrorist organizations in Boko Haram in Nigeria, they’ve been killing people ruthlessly for many years now and we’ve already been seeking greater cooperation with the Nigerians – this may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime,” the president told ABC News’ Ginger Zee.
On Tuesday, the White House announced it is sending a team to Nigeria to aid the effort to find the girls and those responsible, amid criticism that the Nigerian government has not done enough to rescue them.