Exactly a year ago yesterday, “A girl went to school and never came back home” (in the words of a friend of mine). Only there were 219 girls instead of just one.
To clear up semantics, the girls were in boarding school preparing for their final exams when they (276 girls) were abducted by Boko Haram militants. They have not been recovered. Some escaped by jumping off the trucks that carted them away and some simply deserting camp (57 of them). But majority of the girls are still missing today. And the word wonders.
Every time the Chibok girls come to my mind, the one word keeps recurring to me: failure. The failure of the Nigerian government to get them home, the lackadaisical and sometimes downright shifty attitude to the issue, the failure of Nigerians to consistently hold their government to task. To me, that these girls are still lost is just one colossal failure (from every angle).
But we must not forget. I think if we do, that will be the biggest failure of all. Because then it would be a failure of our very identity. It would mean we aren’t the Nigerians we call ourselves. Because if they are our true sisters, we would never forget.
Today I pray, as did I did this time last year and many other days following, that those young women will somehow find their way home, and find restoration, that God keeps and shields them, in Jesus’ name. Sometimes my prayers feel futile, and hope seems far, but still I pray.
Will you join me and say a prayer today?
My respect and admiration go to people who have been relentless in the fight – organising rallies, spreading the word, fanning the awareness. God bless them all (you can click on the 2 hashtags above to be motivated by people haven’t given up on the search). God bless people like Oby Ezekwesili (who is almost always campaigning on Twitter).