2014 Chibok Girls Abduction: Nigerians React Ten Years On

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On 14th April, 2014, two-hundred and seventy-six girls were taken from a secondary school in the town in Borno State by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

The abductions shocked the world and led to the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which included former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

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It is thought that almost 100 of them are still captive or are missing.

Global Rights on Thursday held a webinar to mark ten years of the abduction. It brought together panelists that gave diverging views of the insecurity state of the country

Ndubuisi Nwokolo

Kidnapping in the country is now a pandemic, political parties feel less concerned about this. In other countries, people come together to solve issues of national importance but, in Nigeria, the opposition leaves it solely for the ruling party to deal with the problem. Nigeria does not work for you if you are down the ladder.

Putting these together, you will understand why after ten years, most of the kidnapped Chibok girls are still where they are. Insecurity keeps getting worse because of the faulty structures existing in the country.

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MediaageNG 2014 Chibok Girls Abduction: Nigerians React Ten Years On On 14th April, 2014, two-hundred and seventy-six girls were taken from a secondary school in the town in Borno State by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.
Last Thursday, one of the girls (now a woman) was rescued with a baby.

Looking at how states carry out their activities, what influence can they have? If it’s a country where the organisation of activities is top notch, this week would have been one of protesting, holding the government responsible. The youth are not doing what they are supposed to. The political class are the problem, they cannot come together and work. Many of them are happy that things are not working because, that’s where they excel. We need a functional state for things to start working.

One problem with this country is our ‘anyhowness’ (doing things without orderliness). It stops us from doing things big and worthy. Most countries thrive because, they adhere to the importance of data but, in Nigeria, the opposite is the norm.

It is vital to relocate students from areas that are prone to attacks to places of safety. However, how do we know and understand the number of areas of schools prone to attacks without the right data?

Another issue is, residents don’t trust the state anymore because, many feel that their interests are hardly protected. (So), having a dialogue between the residents and state is the first way to start building that trust.

Security provision is a good element of an effective government and having paid our taxes, the duty of the government is to provide the country with that security.

Bukky Shonibare.

Nigeria became a party to the Safe School Initiative (SSI) because of the Chibok girls incident. The essence of this is to ensure education and its facilities are protected in times of crisis/attacks. SSI became important to the Nigerian government. The adoption of Chibok girls opened our eyes to understand that students are not just kidnapped but, massacred. At that time, 80 percent of schools were marked as prone to attacks in 2021.

When the abduction happened, we thought it was because of the Boko Haram ideology (Western education is forbidden) but, now, children are been kidnapped for ransom, to prove that it is no longer a Boko Haram thing. It is now seen as a money making venture.

Between April 2014 and 2024, 1754 school students have been abducted, out of which 25 percent constitutes girls, 20 percent boys and 55 percent mixed. Right now, it is children that they are abducting.

Data collation in this regard is key because, it is worth noting that this problem is not only perculiar to the Northeast of the country but, across the nation. It has happened in Ekiti and Lagos states. This is the reason our education resources must be protected because, right now, I don’t think we can beat our chest and say our schools are safe.

Rotimi Olawale.

There is no consistency in numbers, we seem not to know how to count. We live in a low trust environment. Some were even saying that the Chibok girls incident was manipulated, many don’t even believe it till this day.

Also, most state governments tend to deny things that happened in their states. They either deny or increase a figure if it will be to their benefit.

Much emphasis should be centred on the Safe School Initiative until the right structures for safety are put in place. If we cannot call for immediate response, what we are doing in terms of security will be furtile. Our entire security structure must be fixed to some of the insecurity issues the country faces daily.

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) can help aggregate the information, do research and help the government make use of these data. It is possible to gather the names of these abductees, know the ones that have been released and names of those that are yet to be freed. These are the roles of the CSOs.

We need to learn how to sit with the government and put pressure on solving these issues continuously. If these are not solved, we will continue to have out of school students and educational problems.

No government knows it all. Our security structures have been built to protect the highs of the society. If we cannot solve this kind of issues and attract talents into the civil service, we continue to dance around problems in the country.

Hassana Maina

Societal participation must be encouraged. One voice can be easily targeted but, several voices will be difficult to stop. There should be a greater form of coordination, the society itself has been greatly traumatized. We have to coordinate efforts where we can have checks and balances and put aside politics.

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