Processions are today being held in Lagos and Abuja to further press for the release of the abducted Chibok girls. The activities organised by the Bring Back Our Girls group is part of efforts to sustain agitation for the release of the school girls who were abducted by armed members of Boko Haram, the insurgent group that has held residents of the three north-western states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa to ransom for over three years. The girls were forcefully taken away from their school in April 2014.
The bring back our girls campaign caused a rift between the group and the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan, which suspected that some members of the group were playing politics with the issue. The last administration did not immediately believe that the incident happened, owing largely to the strain between it and the government of Borno state where Chibok, the town, is located. The belief in some quarters is that the initial disbelief by government at the centre then gave the insurgents ample opportunity to take the girls beyond the reach of the security.
By the time the Jonathan administration took the matter seriously the insurgent group had realised that they it could use the case of the girls to arm-twist the government. Though the security secured the release of about 500 females kidnapped by the insurgents before handing over the reigns of power to the government of Muhammadu Buhari, none of them has been recognised as a member of the Chibok Girls group.
Buhari has promised to do his best in that regard, but three months after he got into office, efforts made are yet to pay off. But at least the group is happy that he has given them audience. Before he was elected the issue had attracted international attention, such that the American congress has sent representatives to meet with parents of the girls, Michelle Obama, wife of the United States president has joined the agitation and recently when Ban Ki Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, UN visited Nigeria, he stressed the need for the girls to be released.
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