The kidnapping of more than 200 secondary school girls in Nigeria has attracted a lot of concern, both locally and internationally, with many calling for the release of these girls.
Recently, I wrote about the Bring back our girls campaign in Nigeria; how many Nigerians (including those in diaspora) and even other concerned foreigners have called for the release of these girls. I expressed concerns that these girls could be victims of various forms of physical, domestic and sexual abuse.
There were also reports that the girls were being transported to neighboring Cameroon and Chad and ‘married’ off for a mere $12 (€9), about two thousand Naira.
It came as a terrible shock to me when I watched the recently released Boko Haram Video, where Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau swore to sell the abducted girls as ‘slaves’.
His words were actually very distressing;
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.” (Linda Ikeji Blog )
This confirms our fears that these vulnerable girls would most likely be sold out and exposed to rape, forced labour, trafficking and other forms of violence and human rights violation.
The Nigerian Government should know that mere talking and assuring people that the girls will be brought back is not enough! Precise and immediate actions need to be taken. These girls are at a tremendous risk and the blame will be on them should anything happen to these girls. The Boko Haram leader has assured the whole world that he would go ahead to sell these girls. The main objective now should be to prevent this disaster from happening and ‘Bring Back Our Girls’.
Also, the international community needs to wade into this matter. This is a case of grave human rights violation and the UN can not afford to keep silent about the situation. This is a difficult situation to handle and the Nigerian Government will surely need foreign help.
The parents and relatives of these girls are going through an extremely difficult time, worrying about their girls each second of each day. We can’t afford to be silent! We demand the release of these girls. They’ve been gone for over two weeks and only God knows has happened to them. Please, #BringBackOurGirls